The most agonizing emotion is being rejected by the person you anticipated to love you the most, your parents, especially if you love them unconditionally. A young elephant sobbed for several hours because he didn’t comprehend why his mother would assault and reject him.
He was born at Shendiaoshan Wildlife Sanctuary in Rong-cheng, China, and his name is ZhuangZhuang. Zhuang’s mother not only rejected him, but also trampled him to death, leaving him with injuries. The episode was unique in that the mother elephant generally stays with her young until they are able to survive on their own.
Their managers first assumed it was merely a miscommunication between the mother and the newborn infant. The wounds on the calf were healed, and he was returned to his mother. The danger was approaching, so the elephant’s mother attacked her little son once more.
They chose to remove the calf and his mother after concluding that the calf could no longer be with his mother without being injured. Although this choice was made to safeguard the calf from additional physical harm, it has already caused mental harm.
Little Zhuang was calmed by the handlers, but no one anticipated what transpired after the separation. For more than five hours, the calf wailed! Zhuang’s heart was filled with separation anxiety and rejection, and the sound of his scream was heartbreaking.
“He was furious and sobbed for five hours before I could console him.” One worker stated, “He couldn’t tolerate being away from his mother, yet the same mother attempted to murder him.”
Julia S. Ferdinand, an elephant specialist, and Andrea Worthington, a doctor of zoology and ecology, described why this rare incidence occurred.
“In the wild, all members of an elephant herd grow up caring for all of their younger calves. They learn to be parents efficiently with the help of their family, who are always there.”
Other fascinating details regarding elephant moms’ behavior are added by experts. Elephants generally give birth surrounded by their family and pick “nurses” from among their relatives to assist them in raising their young, although this only happens in the wild.
“Animals’ maternal protective instincts towards their young might be harmed by living in captivity outside of conventional family groupings,” they stated. This is what happened to ZhuangZhuang, and because he was the firstborn calf, things grew much worse.
“If she is a first-time mother, she may be terrified, and an unskilled woman may assault or hurt her infant, either purposefully or unintentionally, owing to the agony of childbirth.” If the animal is in the wild, its kin will assist it throughout childbirth, helping it to lessen pain and give birth gently, according to specialists.
Fact: She may not be a horrible mother, but elephants in captivity and those afflicted by birth are tough to handle, especially without the assistance of family. Thankfully, one of the handlers had a unique connection with Zhuang and was able to calm him down.