Baby elephant gets ‘hint’ that foster mom wants to be left alone

An orphaned elephant calf discovered recently that nagging its foster mom can bring about unpleasant consequences.

The accompanying footage, shared Wednesday by Wild is Life, shows the baby male elephant, Elliot, trying to wake mom to play, and reacting to her not-so-subtle hint to leave her alone.

“Watch until the end – with sound on,” Wild is Life advised followers on Facebook. “Kadiki has a very clever way to tell Elliot once she’s had enough.”

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Kadiki is the 3-year-old foster mom. Elliot, only a few weeks old, is the latest orphaned elephant to arrive at the Wild is Life Panda Masuie Elephant Release Project in Zimbabwe.

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Elliot’s family of six elephants was killed and the case is under investigation (poaching is not suspected).

According to the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), Elliot was rescued after wandering into a community on Dec. 26, while being harassed by holiday revelers.

Elliot and Kadiki. Photo: ©IFAW

Elliot is currently in good health at the WIL Zimbabwe Elephant Nursery (ZEN) in Harare, which cares for young orphaned elephants. Elliot shares a stable with Kadiki and the two have developed a close bond.

“Elliot is drinking voraciously—consuming 21 liters a day of special neonate milk formula—and he is partial to having fun by chasing ducks and other large birds,” WIL ZEN founder Roxy Danckwerts told the IFAW. “He has so much energy, and it’s a joy to see such a tiny elephant having such a good time.”

The WIL ZEN nursery has rescued more than 50 orphaned elephants. At present, 30 elephants are undergoing rehabilitation at the Panda Masuie facility, and 12 are close to being released back in to the wild.

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Story originally appeared on For The Win