Elephants are well-known for their intelligence, including social intelligence. A herd of elephants forms a complex little society. One of the more charming aspects of elephant civilization is how much they care for each other.
Emily the elephant was an orphan rescued by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. As a baby, Emily had the very unfortunate experience of falling into an old pit latrine near a prison camp in Manyani, Kenya. When they found her, she was seriously malnourished and had to spend her next few years recovering at the Trust’s Nairobi Park Elephant Nursery. Once she was fully grown, Emily was released back into the wild.
But as they say, an elephant never forgets. Pregnant with her second calf, Emily gave everyone at the Wildlife Trust a big surprise: she returned to the Nursery to give birth! Incredibly, this was Emily’s idea and hers alone: none of the caretakers had sought her out or tried to bring her back for the big day. Nobody could believe it!
The caretakers at the Wildlife Trust posted a video at their website and wrote, “The event was filled with trumpets and rumbles of joy from Emily’s satellite herd of ex-orphans who had accompanied her back, all of whom were eager to gently help get the new precious bundle to its feet, nudging it gently, and using their trunks to lift the baby.” We’ve posted the video below so you can watch for yourself as Emily’s elephantine friends gather round and help out. You’ll see the astonishing miracle of life unfold before your eyes.
Now Emily has two daughters, Eve and the newborn Emma.
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