For parents, the moment their baby walks for the first time is magical, and it is no less so with a baby elephant, as evidenced by video shot at the Londolozi Game Reserve in South Africa.
Amy Attenborough of the Londolozi Game Reserve wrote that great ceremony accompanies the first steps a baby elephant makes, as the herd closes in to give support to the baby and the mother, after her 22-month pregnancy.
"We watched the elephants perform the dance of birth where they pirouetted in tight circles around themselves and waltzed around each other to the music of their rumbling," Attenborough wrote.
Here's what they saw:
The three elephants surrounding the baby helped it get up and steadied it on its feet. Attenborough said she was stressed, worrying the elephants might trample the baby elephant, though it appears the elephants were merely helping it stay upright until it found the strength to walk on its own.
"They helped the mother to bury the afterbirth and spent a large amount of time dust bathing themselves and the baby, possibly to rid it of scent and thus prevent predators from smelling this vulnerable new creature," Attenborough wrote.
"They also touched their trunks to it tenderly, taking turns to greet the new member of the family, all the while rumbling in the deeply comforting way that speaks to elephants and humans alike."
It was, as Attenborough stated, an "incredibly touching scene."
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