Baby elephants are cute!

I’ve helped to feed baby elephants in the Kruger National Park when I was very much younger.  The youngsters had typically been rescued after their mothers had been killed by poachers, or collided with trucks on roads through the bush.  They were brought to Skukuza, administrative headquarters of the park, and hand-reared whenever possible.

It was a lot of fun (and sometimes rather painful) feeding them.  The usual container was a 2-liter Coke bottle, fitted with an outsize rubber nipple and filled with a heady mixture (varying according to the animal’s age) of milk, ProNutro, mashed banana and a few other goodies the vet reckoned were good for itty-bitty elephants. When they saw you coming bearing this cornucopia of pachyderm goodness, they’d start trumpeting (very shrilly and childishly) and swaying furiously with excitement. They’d latch on and drink like mad (the older ones using their trunks to hold the bottle up so that everything ran down into the nipple).  When they’d finished, they’d hopefully prod you to see if you had another bottle. When you proved empty-handed, their next instinct was to play. More than once I’ve turned around to hand the empty bottle to an assistant, only to be flattened by a playful love-tap from a six-week-old, three-hundred-pound infant elephant.  As I picked myself up painfully from the ground it would be dancing around, daring me to turn around again so it could have another go!

With that in mind, here’s a fun video from the Elephant Nature Park in Thailand.  Watch it in full-screen mode for the best results.

I think I recognize the mischievous gleam in that young brat’s eye . . .  Just don’t take it home with you.  Your furniture and fittings would never survive!



  1. (Q);How can you tell that elephants have had coitus in your back yard? (A); Your lawn's all tore up and the trash-can liners are missing……

  2. The little bugger's absolutely adorable, isn't he? Just don't make him cry – I'm pretty sure that Mama or Tantie was that one in the background giving the videographer the gimlet eye…

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