18/04/2024

Baby Elephant Needs Help After Tᴜᴍʙʟᴇ, Herd Rushes To The Rᴇsᴄᴜᴇ

It’s a moment any parent is familiar with – your little one takes a ᴛᴜᴍʙʟᴇ and you hurry over to help them up. As it turns out, life for new parents isn’t so different in the animal kingdom. When a baby elephant ᴛᴏᴘᴘʟᴇd over at the Zurich zoo recently, her entire herd came to her aid.

Baby elephant Omysha was born at Zoo Zurich in Switzerland back on June 17. Omysha, whose name means “smile”, the youngest resident in the Zurich Zoo’s Krachan Elephant Park, is still learning the tricky ʙᴜsɪɴᴇss of putting one leg in front of the other. But luckily for the little pachyderm, when she does take an inevitable ᴛᴜᴍʙʟᴇ, she’s got a herd of help standing by.

A video from one zoo-goer shows Omysha taking a stroll that led to taking a ᴛᴜᴍʙʟᴇ. While the misstep left her ᴜᴘsɪᴅᴇ-ᴅᴏᴡɴ and couldn’t seem to right herself. She let out a wail and in an instant, two adult elephants were at her side, helping her up. With a low grumble of concern, two grown-up elephants rushed to Omysha’s side and used teamwork – and their trunks – to turn the little one right-side up again. With a couple more trumpets, a third adult arrived to help comfort Omysha and let her know she’s going to be fine.

But the exercise in elephant cooperation didn’t end there. After the adult duo handled that, they were joined by another of the park’s six elephants, and together they ɴᴜᴅɢᴇᴅ the baby in the right direction. The group then encircled Omysha in a fall-proof huddle.

Though it’s not clear from the video whether the baby’s mother is one of the adults that come to its aid, elephants are known to have tight bonds with herd members outside their immediate family. Mother and calf share a special connection, but adults have been known to watch over little ones that aren’t theirs. Other members of the clan may act as babysitters, a practice that helps young female elephants for motherhood. Zoo Zurich’s elephant facility was named for the Kaeng Krachan National Park in Thailand, where the Swiss zoo supports conservation for Asiatic Elephants. Asian elephants like Omysha are an ᴇɴᴅᴀɴɢᴇʀᴇᴅ species with a ᴡɪʟᴅ population of between 40,000 and 50,000, the Zurich Zoo said.

Rᴇᴘʀᴏᴅᴜᴄᴛɪᴏɴ of elephants: Gᴇsᴛᴀᴛɪᴏɴ in elephants typically lasts around two years with interbirth intervals usually lasting four to five years. Calves are born 85 cm (33 in) tall and weigh around 120 kg (260 lb). For its first three months, a calf relies entirely on milk from its mother for nutrition, after which it begins to forage for vegetation and can use its trunk to collect water. They are well cared for within the herd of elephants. Their own mother as well as the other females will ensure the baby is well protected. The babies often follow right behind their mothers when the herd is on the move. To ensure they stay where they should their trunk is wrapped around her tail.

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