Wednesday, July 27, 2016

It’s an amazing, beautiful event that is rarely witnessed by humans. Not only is it rarely witnessed, it’s incredibly unlikely for it to be caught on video – the birth of a newborn elephant. It was captured on camera by Christian and Ginette Leroy at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT) in Chobi National Park, Botswana. At first, it’s a little frightening to watch. The other elephants are very excited by the new arrival and gather tightly around the mother and new baby. This is what they do…

The newborn elephant is only minutes old, and surrounded by its mother and an entire herd of protective, gentle ‘family members’. Born safely in a sanctuary among watchful humans and an even more attentive elephant herd, this little one is sure to be one of the most cared for elephants in the world. Though the elephants are absolutely huge, and at first seem like they there are crowding the new arrival, their reaction is completely normal. As the video goes on, it is clear that they mean mother and baby absolutely no harm. They appear to be showing their affection, offering their protection, and even celebrating as the baby enters the world and takes those all important first breaths. As the new addition struggles to get its bearings and attempt to figure out this entirely new environment, the mother and the other elephants surround it completely. This baby is completely safe. If this was the wild, no predator would dare approach this formidable group. They gently use their trucks to help the baby right itself, and take a few tries at standing. It’s a struggle, and the baby elephant tumbles to the ground a few times. But, eventually it finds its footing. The mama elephant and her enthusiastic companions are so proud of baby!



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