Heartwarming Farewell: Elephant Calves Comfort Their Ailing Mother

In a touching display of love and loyalty, three elephant calves were recently seen comforting their terminally ill mother, Nalakite, in the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya.

As the family’s matriarch, Nalakite had raised and guided her children throughout their lives, creating an unbreakable bond.

Elephant Family In Kenya
Nalakite and her three calves in the Masai Mara in Kenya Source: Elephant Aware Masai Mara

Elephant Aware Masai Mara rangers first noticed Nalakite’s concerning condition in September.

ADVERTISEMENT

She had lost significant weight and had a circular wound on her left side, likely caused by a spear.

Injured Elephant Lying In Mud Hole
In October, Nalakite was found lying in a muddy water hole and couldn’t get up. Source: Elephant Aware Masai Mara

Human-elephant conflicts are unfortunately common in the Mara region, leading to injuries like this, according to Joyce Poole, an elephant behavior expert and co-director of ElephantVoices.

A rescue team, including veterinarians, rushed to treat Nalakite’s infection from the spear wound.

ADVERTISEMENT

Sedating and treating her was risky, as she might not have had the strength to stand back up after the procedure.

Man Trying To Push Injured Elephant Out Of The Mud
One of the many people trying to push Nalakite out of the muddy water hole in October. Source: Elephant Aware Masai Mara
Elephant Herd Comforting Each Other As Their Mother Dies
Source: Elephant Aware Masai Mara
ADVERTISEMENT

Despite their concerns, the team proceeded with the treatment, and with the help of ropes, they got Nalakite back on her feet.

However, a month later, rangers discovered Nalakite in a muddy water hole, too weak to escape. Despite a 12-hour effort to rescue her, the team ultimately had to accept that Nalakite was dying.

ADVERTISEMENT

Throughout this ordeal, her calves remained nearby, offering comfort and reassurance to both their mother and each other.

Elephant Calves Touching Their Dying Mother With Their Trunks
Nalakite’s calves try to comfort their dying mother by touching her with their trunks. Source: Elephant Aware Masai Mara
Elephant Lying Next To His Dying Mother In Muddy Water Hole
Nalakite’s oldest son lies beside his dying mother in the muddy water hole. Source: Elephant Aware Masai Mara

As Nalakite’s life ended, her eldest son lay down beside her in a touching display of affection. Poole explains that elephants, like humans, deeply understand death and express their grief through physical touch and emotional connection.

Although Nalakite’s passing was a significant loss, her calves have found support in their extended family, which includes aunts and cousins.

ADVERTISEMENT

Elephant Aware Masai Mara expressed their commitment to protecting these calves and ensuring they can live as elephants should.

Older Elephant Hugging A Smaller Elephant With Their Trunks
Nalakite’s sons hugged their little sister with their trunks. Source: Elephant Aware Masai Mara
Elephants Touching The Dead Body Of Their Dying Mother
Nalakite’s children stayed with the body of their mother hours after her death. Source: Elephant Aware Masai Mara
ADVERTISEMENT
Scale;Webp=Auto;Jpeg Quality=60
Nalakite’s oldest son appeared particularly distressed following the death of his mother, and he often rested his head and trunk on a nearby tree. Source: Elephant Aware Masai Mara
Baby Elephants Playing Together
Nalakite Mdogo is playing with new friends after the death of her mother. Source: Elephant Aware Masai Mara
Baby Elephants Walking In Line Together
Nalakite Mdogo is playing with new friends following the death of her mother. Source: Elephant Aware Masai Mara

Read more Elephant News.


ADVERTISEMENT