In a heartwarming and viral Twitter video, a baby elephant is seen playfully swinging its trunk like a helicopter or turbine fan, captivating viewers worldwide.
While baby elephants are undeniably adorable, it may surprise you to learn that they take about a year to master the art of controlling their trunks, and this video is a delightful testament to that learning process.
The footage has amassed over 38 million views, showcasing the endearing interaction between the young elephant and nearby birds, adding to its charm.
According to elephant expert Joyce Poole, this playful behavior might be a form of displacement activity observed when elephants feel uncertain about their social environment.
Young elephants often swing their feet and twist their trunks when unsure of what to do next in a particular situation.
Another user shared an endearing clip from a decade ago featuring a “little chappie” attempting to control his trunk with evident pride as he managed to pluck a single piece of grass.
Understanding why it takes baby elephants so long to master their trunks reveals the incredible complexity of this skill.
As per the ranger’s blog at South Africa’s Tintswalo Safari Lodge, baby elephants initially mimic an expected behavior seen in human babies – sticking their trunk into their mouth, much like how a human baby might suck their thumb.
The elephant’s trunk boasts over 50,000 muscle units, making it a challenging acquisition ability.
Baby elephants learn to use their trunks during the first 6 to 8 months for crucial tasks like eating and drinking.
As they approach the one-year mark, they gradually gain better control, resembling the proficiency of adult elephants.
National Geographic confirms that this seemingly quirky behavior is typical among baby elephants as they learn to master their trunks.
The video’s popularity not only brings joy to viewers worldwide but also sheds light on the fascinating journey of a baby elephant as it develops and hones its remarkable trunk-handling skills.
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