Africa 2013 - TrekLightly

Baby Bush Elephant and Guardian

The calf is born into a nurturing herd of related females and young males. After a gestation period of 20-22 months, they are precocial as they can see, smell, and walk a short time after birth. These well-developed calves are guarded and taken care of by their allomothers; young females who assist the calf’s mother. Elephant cows of the herd, which are typically related, frequently suckle each others' calves. Daughters remain in their natal herd for life, sons leave their natal herd once they reach sexual maturity. (ADW)