The most painful feeling is being rejected by the people you expected to love you the most, your parents, especially if you love them unconditionally. This happened to a newborn elephant, who cried for hours because he didn’t understand why his mother would attack and reject him.
ZhuangZhuang was born at the Shendiaoshan Wildlife Sanctuary in Rong-cheng, China. Little Zhuang was not only rejected by his mother, but she also stomped him to death, injuring him. The incident was unusual because the mother elephant usually accompanies her offspring until they are old enough to travel on their own.
Their handlers initially assumed it was just a misunderstanding between mother and newborn baby. They bandaged the calf and returned him to his mother. However, the threat was imminent, and the elephant’s mother attacked her young son once more.
They decided to separate the calf and his mother after concluding that the calf could no longer stay with his mother without being harmed. Despite the fact that this decision was made to protect the calf from further physical harm, emotional harm has already occurred.
The handlers did everything they could to calm little Zhuang, but no one expected what happened after they separated. The calf screamed for over five hours! Zhuang’s heart was filled with separation anxiety and the feeling of being rejected, and the sound of his cry was heartbreaking.
“He was enraged and sobbed for five hours before I could console him.” “He couldn’t stand being separated from his mother, and the same mother tried to kill him,” one worker explained.
The reason for this unusual incident was explained further by elephant expert Julia S. Ferdinand and Zoology and Ecology Doctor Andrea Worthington.
“In a wild elephant herd, all members of the herd grow up caring for all of the herd’s younger calves.” They effectively learn to be parents with the help of their family members who are always present.”
Other fascinating facts about elephant mothers’ behavior are added by experts. Elephants give birth in the presence of their relatives, and they usually select “nurses” from among their relatives to assist them in raising their offspring, but this is usually limited to elephants in the wild.
“Living in captivity outside of traditional family groups can interfere with animals’ maternal protective instincts toward their children,” the researchers explained.This is exactly what happened to ZhuangZhuang, and things only got worse because he was the first-born calf.
“If she is a first-time mother, she may be afraid, and because childbirth is painful, an inexperienced mother may attack or harm her baby, intentionally or unintentionally.” If it is in the wild, its relatives will assist it during childbirth, allowing it to reduce pain and give birth slowly, according to experts.
Fact: Although she is not a bad mother, elephants affected by birth and in captivity are difficult to manage, especially without the assistance of relatives. Fortunately, one of the handlers had a special bond with Zhuang and was able to calm him down.