In Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools National Park, an extraordinary event was captured by wildlife photographer Jens Cullman. In what seems to be a deliberate act, a mother elephant released feces onto her calf’s head.
According to local witnesses, this unconventional act is a bonding experience and an immune system booster for the young elephant.
Cullman, a 50-year-old German, shared the captivating incident: “From what I understand, the calf’s contact with the dung strengthens its immune system. There might also be an element of bonding between mother and child.”
He described the memorable sequence where the calf looked at him before standing up, following its mother, who then discharged her dung onto the calf.
Cullman found the photographs fascinating and elicited amazement from friends and family who found the situation amusing, responding with enthusiastic “wow”s.
However, the narrative takes a sad turn. The national park had experienced a severe dry season that severely affected the wildlife.
The mother elephant, being visibly malnourished, symbolizes the distressing scenario. This unfavorable condition led to the loss of many elephants, with other species also enduring hardship.
Cullman further explained that the mother and her calf had to search for food all day tirelessly. He said, “In Mana Pools this year, it was extremely dry, leading to widespread animal suffering. Numerous elephants, including calves, perished due to the drought.”
Cullman still needs to capture the resilience of these majestic creatures. Upon spotting the adorable calf, he exited his car, approached them, and snapped photos.
The elephants were foraging for food, a daunting task considering it was the end of the harsh dry season. Cullman tracked the pair because of his fondness for them and captured heartwarming shots of the calf beside its mother’s large foot.
Read more Elephant News.