The bond between a mother and her baby is often as strong in animals as it is in humans. Perhaps one of the best examples of this is a mother elephant and her calf, which has been described as the closest relationship of any animal.
Calves rely on their mothers entirely for care, protection, and nourishment up until they are five years old. Mother elephants are extremely protective of their babies – just like a human parent would be, teaching them to be careful of their surroundings and making sure they don’t get into too much trouble. For instance, all children are taught not to talk to strangers, and in this video, it seems a mother elephant is teaching her calf the exact same lesson.
When the calf gets too close to the tourists, the mother elephant uses her trunk to hold the curious baby back. The calf seems super excited to skip right up to the gathering of people and say hello! But as the mother knows, humans could pose a threat to this baby. This is an important lesson for her little one to learn, as it is estimated that an elephant is killed for their ivory tusks every 15 minutes. While these tourists might not be dangerous to this pair, it’s always better to be safe than sorry!
We can help keep elephants safe by raising awareness for the ivory trade – after all, when the buying stops so can the killing. All elephants deserve to experience the bond this mother and baby share, and it is up to us to keep them safe!