These two elephant calves were recently captured at Kariega Game Reserve South Africa. Elephants are incredibly intelligent and social creatures, led by a matriarch (female head). Everyone in the herd takes an active role in the raising of their young ones, especially when it comes to new mothers. It is not uncommon for a grandmother to step in during tricky situations and help her daughter with a new born, for example freeing the young grandchild from the mud, when the mother is unable to do so.
Elephant calves suckle for about 2 years, and the weaning process can take up to 10 years - during which the entire herd will help to protect the calf, as young elephant can be targets for predators. They will also take a hand in educating the calf in social and practical behaviour and skills, until such time as the calf is able to fend for itself.
This great shot was taken by a guest, Johanita Hugo, at Kariega Game Reserve South Africa and uploaded onto our Facebook page. If you have any images you would like to share with us, please feel free to upload them onto our Facebook wall, or email to firstname.lastname@example.org