An African baby elephant has recently been sighted with his elephant herd in Kruger National Park and it wasn’t a heartwarming moment. Sadly, the little elephant was missing his iconic trunk. Whether the maiming was caused by the attack of a predator, such as a crocodile or a lion, or by a poacher’s snare is unknown.
What is so disheartening is that elephants without their trunks face dismal odds of surviving sans such a “critical body part“. Whether an elephant uses its trunk for feeding or breathing or even hugging another elephant close, the elephant’s trunk is vital for so many activities and even for some survival techniques the elephant uses in the wild. There is even the danger of his own elephant herd rejecting him for being inferior from the rest (of the elephants).
Hopefully this baby elephant can soon be helped by rangers and elephant conservationists or at the very least that they would be able to assess the situation for the kindest thing that can be done for the elephant calf.
To learn more about the wondrous elephant trunk watch this delightful animated YouTube video by Lammas Science “Why is a trunk useful to an elephant”
Photos & a short Video of the maimed baby elephant (with his missing trunk) can be found at The Daily Mail Online: The little elephant that lost its trunk: Fears for survival of calf spotted in the wild without a trunk”
Image: CC Flickr: Baby elephant drawing by viviribs