Elephants are careful to protect their young – as you can see here the adults form a protective circle around the baby!
Sometimes, even big is not big enough…
Photo taken in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia.
It’s getting hot in Zambia – and the elephants in South Luangwa National Park take the opportunity to take a refreshing bath.
An elephant mother and her calf drinking at a waterhole.
Photo taken in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
An elephant mum and baby playing at a waterhole in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia. Waterholes like this are especially popular during the dry season from May to November. During this time, there is no rain and as the grass and leaves turn brown and dry the animals need access to a stable water supply. In this wet area one pool of water was used for drinking, while another became a swimming pool. The elephants greatly enjoy bathing; splashing in the mud until they are as brown as the soil. After the bath comes a dusting of sand. When this elephant sunscreen is in place it is time to move on.
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A majestic elephant bull in profile. Because of the threat of poaching, the number of really old and big male elephants has dwindled in the past decades. It is a joy to see them – and always a little scary too, I must say! The photo was taken in Pilanesberg National Park in South Africa. In this edit, the background is evenly coloured, and the shape of the elephant is stylized.
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In Southern Africa, elephants regularly fall victim to poaching or to conflicts about living space with farmers and villagers. Sometimes baby elephants are left orphaned when their mother is killed – elephants drink their mother’s milk until they are three years old. In Zambia, Game Rangers International rescues, rehabilitates, and releases orphaned elephants back into the wild. The youngest elephants are cared for at the elephant nursery in Lilayi, close to Lusaka. There they receive bottles of milk every three hours and are taken into the bush to learn to vend for themselves. Everyday between 11.30 and 13.00 hrs visitors can watch how the babies are fed – a lovely sight, as you can see in this photograph. When they are a little older, the elephants are taken to Kafue National Park to join other older orphaned elephants, to work towards reintegration with elephants in the wild.