Maternal Bonds in the Elephant Realm - All Things Elephants
Fortunately, the elephant has managed to persist in Anamalai. of elephant culture, matriarchal as it is -- the relationship between mothers and For the first two to three years of life, baby elephants are utterly dependent on their mothers for feeding. The other female elephants in a herd -- the calf's aunts -- aid its mother. To observe the relationship between mother and baby elephant reveals The mother often touches her calf with trunk and legs, helping it to its. As a human mother washes her baby, so does an elephant mother, sprinkling her calf with water and then scrubbing it gently with its trunk.
In these early years, the calf is under the constant watch of his or her mother and knowledge vital to survival is imparted day to day. To observe the relationship between mother and baby elephant reveals a profound level of care and tenderness that is second to none in the animal kingdom Typically, newborn elephants get to their feet within half an hour, albeit a little wobbly at first.
Baby elephants are nearly blind at birth and first discover their world by feeling with their trunk and soaking up the surrounding smells, particularly that of their mother.
A baby elephant is born into the world with great fanfare, surrounded by mother, relatives and other females in the herd, immediately joining the rich and complex life of an elephant family.
The newcomer will remain the centre of attention for years to come, being fussed over and cared for with great devotion. Juvenile female helpers are called allomothers or aunties and play an important role in rearing elephant calves, ranging in age from years old.
They provide important relief to the mother so that she may reserve her strength for lactation and feeding her calf. If the attention gets too frenzied, the mother may chase them away, leaving perhaps one of her older daughters.
Studies indicate that calves with several allomothers stand a better chance of survival in the wild. They nurse frequently throughout the day and are entirely dependent on their mother for all of their nourishment for the first year of life.
Elephant mothers are very indulgent and fuss over their calf, fondling them, and allowing them to suckle on demand. In the first few months of life, calves are so small that they walk under their mother seeking shade and protection.
Mother and calf remain very close, regularly touching and smelling each other. If a calf strays too far from its mother, she calls to it by trumpeting or chasing after it.
The mother often touches her calf with trunk and legs, helping it to its feet with one foot and her trunk. The mother will bathe her calf, using her trunk to spray water over it and then scrub it gently.
If a calf squeals in distress, their mother and allomothers rush to their aid. Drinking presents unique challenges for the young elephant and they can look very awkward trying to suck up water with their trunk and spray it into their mouth, only to lose most of it on the way. They can usually manage this by six months. After the first year, a calf gradually begins to nibble on plants and the nursing period tapers off.
Complete weaning usually occurs by the age of two or three. A major event for both male and female calves is the birth of a brother or sister by which time they are normally four or five years old.
And if you happened to hike through the lands of the Elephant Mountain, and came upon an elephant herd, you'd bear witness to an increasingly rare sight. An elephant herd is a complex, female-dominated society. A female elephant, or matriarch, oversees every herd, which usually consists of five or six related animals. Because they are dependent on the herd for food and protection, and reliant on the guidance of their mother, daughters of the matriarch typically stay with the herd for most, if not all, of their lives.
Celebrate the maternal bond of the wild elephant on Mother's Day - World Land Trust
Male elephants, on the other hand, play little role in the life of the herd. Even by the age of five, young male elephants assert their independence, and by adulthood, they depart the herd, establishing home ranges of their own, and leading solitary lives.
Anamalai" follows the development of an elephant calf in his first year. The film illuminates one of the most intriguing aspects of elephant culture, matriarchal as it is -- the relationship between mothers and their offspring. In fact, there are many elements of elephant motherhood that can't help but bring human motherhood to mind. To begin, female elephants carry their developing young for months, longer than any other mammal.
When the calves are finally born, they are massive, weighing between and pounds. And that's only the beginning. Elephant milk is incredibly rich, and for the first four months of their lives, when they're feeding only from their mothers, elephant calves consume nearly 20 pints of milk a day. Drinking that much milk results in gaining nearly 30 pounds a week. For the first two to three years of life, baby elephants are utterly dependent on their mothers for feeding.
After age two, when a calf starts to eat on its own, the mother's milk remains a critical part of its diet. Eating, incidentally, along with resting and travelling, account for most of a young elephant's day. The other female elephants in a herd -- the calf's aunts -- aid its mother, providing protection and caring for the calf.
Cartoon mother and baby elephant bonding relationship
Sadly, should a calf be orphaned before it's two years old, even its aunts can't do enough to keep it alive. How long do elephants stay with their mothers? On average, for 16 years -- just about the same amount of time that human children rely on their parents.