This moving image shows the adorable moment an elephant touches her trunk with her daughter and granddaughter at a zoo in Germany after 12 years of separation.
In the wild, baby elephants leave the herd to find a mate, but female elephants tend to stay with their mothers for life. Family reunification is part of a program to slowly recreate this natural process in captive herds.
The 38-year-old elephant Pori was moved from her old home in Berlin to Bergzoo in the eastern city of Halle, where she has reunited with her 19-year-old daughter Tana after 12 years apart.
The grandmother also met her niece Tamika, four, and Elani, one, for the first time.
The elephant house will remain closed during this time to give the animals a chance to relax and re-acquainted themselves, according to a statement from the zoo, but visitors will still be able to see the elephants in their outdoor areas.
Currently, Pori is in a separate enclosure with her cubs but over the next few days, they will spend time together in the outer area to get to know each other.
Pori is an African elephant born in the wild in Zimbabwe in 1981 and brought back to Germany at Magdeburg Zoo, where she lived from 1983 to 1997 when she was sent to Tierpark Berlin for breeding purposes.
In 2001, she gave birth and raised her first child, Tana.
In the wild, elephants always live together in family herds, each herd is led by a lead member.
Daughters tend to stay with their mothers for life, while young bulls leave the herd as soon as they reach sexual maturity.
Zoo director, Dr. Dennis Muller said: ‘Pori’s arrival in Halle is an important step in modern elephant farming.
‘In the future, all elephant herds in European zoos should be cared for in such natural family structures. Today we are much closer to this goal. ‘
Elephant populations in zoos are monitored as part of a conservation breeding program (EEP), in which committees of experts from different zoos identify new herd compositions and resulting animals moves.