A heartwarming video of an orphaned baby elephant learning to hold its milk bottle has captured the attention of the internet.
The two-year-old elephant, Bondeni, can be seen attempting to grip a bottle of warm formula milk with the tip of his trunk at the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi.
Bondeni, who has been under the care of the Kenyan animal rescue center since he was a newborn in 2019, briefly manages to hold the bottle before dropping it, requiring his keeper to assist him. As he sips the milk, he lifts the bottle higher, only to lose his grip and drop it once more.
The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust shared the video on Twitter, stating, “He might be little, but Bondeni is big on personality and bravado – watch him try and be a big bull and hold his milk bottle all by himself. He’s an orphan in the care of our nursery.”
The young elephant was brought to the rehabilitation center in 2019 after being found alone in a village near the Chyulu Hills.
His feet were injured from walking across lava fields, but after being treated at the center’s Kaluku Field HQ, Bondeni’s wounds healed, and he was transferred to the nursery.
To ensure Bondeni receives the nourishment he would get in the wild; keepers prepare fresh formula milk every three hours.
As the baby elephants grow, some prefer to hold the bottle and feed themselves rather than being hand-fed.
The adorable footage garnered praise from social media users, who gushed over the baby elephant’s efforts.
The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, founded in 1977 by Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick DBE, is one of Africa’s oldest wildlife charities and has successfully rescued, raised, and reintegrated over 160 orphaned elephants back into the wild.
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