Baby Elephant Rejoins Mother and After Getting Separated from Herd


Officials at the Anamalai Tiger Reserve in Pollachi, Tamil Nadu, south India, successfully reunited a baby elephant with his mother and herd after the young calf had been separated for three days.

The four to five-month-old baby elephant found himself in distress on December 29 when he became separated from his mother and the rest of the herd. Wildlife wardens observed the calf anxiously searching for its mother, a sight that tugged at the heartstrings of all who witnessed it.

Contrary to the typical behavior of elephant herds, where a smaller group stays behind to locate a missing calf, both the mother and the herd had moved approximately 2.5 miles (4km) away.

According to Kartick Satyanarayan, the chief executive of Wildlife SOS, this departure from the norm may have been influenced by the need for safety in an area where human-animal conflict is prevalent. The matriarch faced a challenging decision, choosing between the welfare of the herd and the well-being of the lost calf.

Fortunately, the calf was located a day after the separation, and drones were employed to pinpoint the location of the herd. Before reuniting the calf with his family, forest officials took precautions to reduce human smells on the young elephant. The calf was bathed, and mud was applied to his body, ensuring a minimal human imprint. This step was crucial in facilitating a smooth reintroduction, as it helped alleviate the anxiety of the mother and other herd members.

The emotional reunion took place when the calf was carefully transported to the herd on a truck. The joyous moment was captured in an aerial photograph, showcasing the mother and calf peacefully napping on a slight incline, with the baby nestled in the comforting embrace of its mother’s chest.

To ensure the well-being of the reunited duo, park staff will continue to monitor the mother and calf for a few more days.

This article by Trinity Sparke was first published by One Green Planet on 8 January 2024. Image Credit: John Michael Vosloo/Shutterstock.

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