~~May 23, 2015~~
Born in the wild: A baby elephant enters the world
BIRTHING AND CALVES
Gestation in elephants typically lasts around two years with interbirth intervals usually lasting four to five years. Births tend to take place during the wet season. Calves are born 85 cm (33 in) tall and weigh around 120 kg (260 lb).
Typically, only a single young is born, but twins sometimes occur. The relatively long pregnancy is maintained by five corpus luteums (as opposed to one in most mammals) and gives the fetus more time to develop, particularly the brain and trunk. As such, newborn elephants are precocial and quickly stand and walk to follow their mother and family herd.
A new calf is usually the center of attention for herd members.
Adults and most of the other young will gather around the newborn, touching and caressing it with their trunks. For the first few days, the mother is intolerant of other herd members near her young. Alloparenting – where a calf is cared for by someone other than its mother – takes place in some family groups. Allomothers are typically two to twelve years old. When a predator is near, the family group gathers together with the calves in the centre.
For the first few days, the newborn is unsteady on its feet, and needs the support of its mother. It relies on touch, smell and hearing, as its eyesight is poor. It has little precise control over its trunk, which wiggles around and may cause it to trip.
By its second week of life, the calf can walk more firmly and has more control over its trunk. After its first month, a calf can pick up, hold and put objects in its mouth, but cannot suck water through the trunk and must drink directly through the mouth.
It is still dependent on its mother and keeps close to her.
“As it appears in …. full read/full credit”
~~An elephant is born~~
Watch as the herd helps
~~Uploaded on Mar 21, 2011~~
Fantastic and rare day time footage of a wild elephant giving birth. Captured by Christian and Ginette Leroy in Chobi National Park, Botswana.
We thank them for allowing us to share this film with our supporters.
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