Heartbreaking: Baby Elephant’s Tears Flow for 5 Hours After Mother’s Tragic Rejection

In a heartbreaking turn of events, a young elephant named Zhuang Zhuang faced the anguish of rejection by his mother, leading to hours of inconsolable tears.

This devastating incident unfolded at the Shendiaoshan Wildlife Sanctuary in Rong-cheng, China, where the innocent newborn elephant experienced a traumatic series of events.

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ZhuangZhuang’s ordeal began when his mother, instead of providing the expected maternal care, unexpectedly attacked and rejected him. The mother’s aggression left the fragile calf with injuries that rendered him helpless.


This occurrence was a rare departure from the norm in the world of elephants, where motherly protection and care are typically unwavering until the offspring can fend for themselves.

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Initially, the sanctuary’s caretakers believed this might have been a misunderstanding and treated the calf’s wounds. They attempted to reunite mother and calf, hoping for a happy resolution.

Unfortunately, the situation took a darker turn, with the mother once again attacking her offspring.


It became painfully clear that the calf’s safety could only be guaranteed through separation, despite the emotional toll it would take.

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The separation proved to be an emotionally scarring experience for ZhuangZhuang. The young calf, torn from his mother’s side, cried inconsolably for over five hours. His anguish and sense of rejection weighed heavily on his heart, evoking truly heart-wrenching cries.

One of the workers recounted, “He was distraught and wailed for five hours until I could finally console him.


He couldn’t bear being separated from his mother, the same mother who attempted to harm him.”

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Experts like Julia S. Ferdinand and Zoology and Ecology Doctor Andrea Worthington have explored this unique incident to offer explanations.

In the wild, elephants live in close-knit herds, where all members are responsible for caring for the youngest ones. This communal approach nurtures their parenting skills with constant family support.


These insights into elephant behavior reveal that, in the wild, elephants prefer giving birth surrounded by their relatives, often selecting “nurses” from their families to help raise their young.

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However, these natural behaviors can become disrupted in captivity, impacting maternal instincts and the ability to protect offspring.

This was precisely the case for ZhuangZhuang, as he was the first calf born under such conditions.


According to experts, first-time mothers in captivity may experience fear and pain during childbirth, leading to unintentional harm to their babies.

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In the wild, elephant relatives would assist in reducing the pain and facilitating a smoother birth process.

This behavior doesn’t necessarily make the mother ‘bad,’ but it underscores the challenges of handling elephants in captivity without the support of their extended families.


Fortunately, an experienced handler provided comfort to ZhuangZhuang, thanks to their unique bond.

This heart-wrenching tale of a baby elephant’s tears is a poignant reminder of the complexities and challenges of caring for these magnificent creatures in captivity.

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