The Importance of Family (Part 1 of 3)
The importance of family is a theme highlighted in our most recently published book A Baby Elephant in the Wild,that we wrote to expose kids to the social world of elephants and highlight how similar elephants are to us. An example of this theme that wasn’t covered in the book occurred in the middle of last season when a baby elephant was abandoned in the confusion of a large family’s hurried departure from the waterhole.
The commotion started with the frantic arrival of two young bulls barreling in to the water hole, roaring and screaming, disrupting a family’s peaceful drink. The cause of such commotion is often unclear, but in this case, they probably bumped into the local resident lion pride dining on one of Mushara’s antelope denizens, but not necessarily—these young males can make a fuss of almost anything.
As the teen boys arrived in a panic, the family group caught the bug and took off south. In the confusion, a baby was separated from mom. The calf tried to follow another adult female out but got confused when she saw an older male sibling, and followed him instead. The situation went from bad to worse as the presence of this little calf at the young bull’s ankles caused him to panic, triggering him to chase the poor traumatized calf back to the waterhole, completely disorienting it, while its mom disappeared over the horizon.
To be continued…