The caretakers of a Chinese zoo have gone through one of the most difficult moments of their professional career.
A female elephant, after giving birth to a baby, pretended to end his life. Those responsible for the zoo quickly separated the mother and newborn before she killed him.
The veterinarians thought that the young mother had become nervous and had accidentally kicked the baby when it was presented shortly after birth.
The staff of the reserve healed the wounds suffered by the baby and returned it to the mother later. Read more on our Twitter account @amomama_usa.
However, in a fit of rage, the elephant began to step on her newborn with her huge and heavy legs. If there had not been a quick intervention of the caretakers, he would have died.
The baby, totally disconsolate, didn’t stop crying for five hours.
According to the worker who took care of the elephant, when he put it in a separate cage and covered it with a blanket, the little one began to sob inconsolably.
The baby elephant was born four months ago in a zoo in China. They have named it Zhuang-zhuang. At first, the center's veterinarians believed that everything had been an accident.
But that second meeting left no room for doubt. Again, she started attacking him. The zookeepers quickly rescued the "little one" and separated him from his mother, perhaps forever.
The newborn Zhuang-zhuang has been adopted by his caretaker, who saved him from certain death in the Shendiaoshan wildlife reserve in the city of Rong-cheng, China.
Zhuang-zhuang wept inconsolably for more than five hours. "He could not bear to be separated from his mother, explained one of the vets, but it was she who was trying to kill him."
The zoo spokesman has ensured that the baby elephant and the caretaker have made good friends. The behavior of the mother is still not explained, something very strange in a spice as social as elephants.
Elephants are known to be highly expressive creatures. They are known to show a wide range of emotions, from joy and anger to pain and compassion.
It's still up for debate whether elephants actually feel enough emotion to elicit tears of sadness, but experts definitely agree that the largest creatures on land feel a wide range of emotions.
A possible explanation for the behavior of the mother is that living in captivity, outside of family groups, can alter the instinct of protection towards their own offspring.
Maybe the only thing the mother wanted was for her son not to live in the same conditions as her. Elephants are known for being very good parents because their family-bonds are much like our own.