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   Undertoad  Tuesday Sep 17 07:22 PM

September 17, 2013: Crying baby elephant

According to this Huffington Post story, this baby elephant cried for five hours straight after his mother attacked and abandoned him.

Shortly after the mother elephant gave birth to the calf in August at the Shendiaoshan Wild Animal Nature Reserve in Rongcheng, China, she stepped on him, according to Metro U.K. Veterinarians hoped it was an accident and treated the baby before returning him to the mother, but he was attacked again. So they removed him from her.

"The calf was very upset and he was crying for five hours before he could be consoled," an employee said, per Metro. "He couldn’t bear to be parted from his mother and it was his mother who was trying to kill him."
The article does note that it's hard to know whether this calf was actually expressing emotion, but that elephants are highly expressive creatures in general.

Clodfobble  Tuesday Sep 17 07:30 PM


That is the saddest picture I have ever seen in my life.

lumberjim  Tuesday Sep 17 07:51 PM

I wonder if the baby has some congenital defect that the mother can sense.

DanaC  Wednesday Sep 18 04:53 AM

Apparently rejection is more common for elephants in captivity than in the wild.

Griff  Wednesday Sep 18 06:14 AM

So... sad.

Coign  Wednesday Sep 18 11:03 AM

It is because nature is scary, and mean, and ugly, and gross, and not the lambs living with lions that PETA would have you believe.

As succulently put by this "cute" link. (Even though the link says, rape, it is actually safe for work.)

infinite monkey  Wednesday Sep 18 11:08 AM

Oh shut it. Elephants are known for intense familial and community ties. I'm sure even elephants have crazy mom elephants.

What is your point exactly? That nature is scary and mean and gross and ugly? Yeah, so's your face.

Oh, I get it. You hate PETA. So? You win the Irrelvant Award this week. Congrats, now go kick a critter.

Happy Monkey  Wednesday Sep 18 11:58 AM

While elephants do have strong family ties, and I wouldn't doubt a story of a grieving older elephant, this elephant had just been born. It's possible that imprinting is that fast in elephants, and that the separation was causing grief, but I do have one other possible explanation for the crying -

He'd just been stepped on by an adult elephant.

Coign  Wednesday Sep 18 01:04 PM

My point is I was raised on a hobby farm with sheep and chickens as our major livestock. This story doesn't surprise me as I see nature and animal-parents turn on young before. It is not a common occurrence but it is not that unusual.

Something that many city-dwellers might take for granted is the idyllic nature of animals and what you find in farming and raising animals, you find some strange or disturbing behavior. Most animal activist groups have this false belief that all animals are perfect loving family groups. But there are a lot of glitches in the system and yes, animals do rape, murder, cannibalize, and have homosexual relationships with each other.

In the end my point I am trying to make is, animals are not "better" then humans.

DanaC  Wednesday Sep 18 01:59 PM

Well...that doesn't stop it being a sad picture.

glatt  Wednesday Sep 18 02:02 PM

Where did anyone say animals were better than humans?

You criticize others for making unfounded assumptions, but how many did you just make in your posts?

infinite monkey  Wednesday Sep 18 02:21 PM


City dwellar. Nope. Rural farmland school.
Idyllic nature of animals. Nope. See above. And I watched Wild Kingdom.
Animals raping and pillaging and (gasp!) Being ghey together.;Anthropomorphizing much? But but but you just said WE do tyat, because we find a grieving baby elephant sad.
Perfect loving family groups. Huh? See above, and I have some education.

Sounds like that guy, freshhead or something: thems just some dogs, man.
OMG Coign IS Freshhead!

Coign  Wednesday Sep 18 02:28 PM

My "assumption" is that people find this shocking and deeply sad. I am just saying if you grew up around animals all your life, you find it slightly sad but not unusual. I find the picture interesting but not to the level that the forum here seems to see it.

Anyways, I though I would just bring up the point that this is not that out of the ordinary. I didn't mean to sound like I was attacking anyone here. (Unless you are one of those people who throw red paint on someone wearing leather. Those people I do mean to offend.) Now that everyone knows I am cold-heartless animal butcher, I will go back to my normal life of hating animals.

DanaC  Wednesday Sep 18 02:30 PM

Heheh. There ya go with the assumption that people expressing sadness at that picture haven't grown up with animals.

"If you knew as much as I do, you wouldn't think like that".

And nobody expressed shock or surprise at the fact that the mother rejected the baby elephant. They just expressed sadness.

Gravdigr  Wednesday Sep 18 04:10 PM

Dice it into 1-inch cubes, toss into a slow cooker with potatoes, carrots, onions...for a week. Prep time: three days.

Gravdigr  Wednesday Sep 18 04:11 PM

Salt and pepper to taste.

DanaC  Wednesday Sep 18 04:28 PM

I'm thinking a slug of white wine would work well in that...

BigV  Wednesday Sep 18 04:46 PM

Originally Posted by Coign View Post

rape, murder, cannibalize, and have homosexual relationships


infinite monkey  Wednesday Sep 18 05:33 PM

Hey Coign, sorry. I got defensive. No i didn't understand your point and 'reacted'...badly.

But really, without being a farmer I'm about as farmy as they get. I just also have a deep affinity for animals and seeing an animal hurting in any way really upsets me.

I am not a PETA person, though. I think animals fill all sorts of roles in our lives. And honestly, sometimes I do feel like i prefer animals to humans...human animals. Humans have such capacity to inflict pain and suffering. In the critter world, I don't envision the ulterior motives to their behavior. Yes I believe they think and feel, but are driven by instinct. I don't understand hurting them for funsies, and i don't understand why we would think that they don't matter.

As Whitman said "I think I could turn and live with the animals, they are so placid and self-contain'd." I also know, as was pointed out in Life of Pi "that tiger is not your friend." But man I sure wish he were.


Adak  Thursday Sep 19 11:00 AM

Originally Posted by lumberjim View Post
I wonder if the baby has some congenital defect that the mother can sense.
No, that's another animal myth. This young elephant was perfectly healthy.

One problem is, elephants that are raised in small groups (in captivity typically), don't get enough role model examples of how they should act. They don't learn how other moms in their herd, nurse their young; protect their young, and care for them in general.

And as Coign pointed out, many times mothers in nature (dads too), are not the idyllic animal parents we see in so many wildlife stories and films. They can be very harsh and brutal at times.

Your reply here?

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