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Thread: Survival of the Fittest - II

  1. #1
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    Default Survival of the Fittest - II

    The calf has been rescued by the FD and is undergoing treatment at the Balle Elephant Camp. It is a male calf and with treatment should ( hopefully ) make a full recovery.Physical health seems ok , needs rest and shelter.

    The most surprising thing about the whole episode is the apparent abandonment of the calf by the Mother and Aunt. When first spotted they were very protective and would charge the boat if we tried to get too close. After a week they would leave the calf and swim across the river to feed. Last few days we always saw the calf alone with the Mother and Aunt grazing on the opposite bank.

    This is full frame at 70 mm , the FD would not have been able to rescue the calf if the Mother and Aunt were close by.
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    I think the aunt and mom thought the calf is beyond recovery. So they started moving away to feed themselves. Except for humans, others view death in an impassive manner. Since they don't have the concept of life after death, I am sure, they don't dread death. Ofcourse, they do have a strong sense of self-preservation. They know when an offspring or another member is beyond recovery. Among humans, I have seen many cases, where the relatives of a long suffering person become impassive after a certain time and await the inevitable.

    It would be interesting to know, if the Forest department will and can try to reintroduce the calf with its herd after it recovers.

    Cheers,
    Sabyasachi

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    Elephants have very strong familial ties. I have seen mothers reluctant to leave the body of their dead calves , so this sort of behavior looked quite strange to me.Especially when there was no shortage of forage or water where the calf was.

    The FD will probably bring up the calf themselves.

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    A very touching photograph. The FD doing the treating the calf is really good. I hope it gets back to health soon. It would be good though if they release it in the wild. Keep us posted.
    Regards,
    Mrudul Godbole

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    from what one hears/reads about Elephants social behaviour... the mother and the rest of the family should try and re unite with the calf... but yes... the 'abandonment' seems very strange... Elephants are known to rally around one of their own till death..and after that the Elephants are supposed to even have post-death rituals....
    would be interesting to know how this particular incident pans out...

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the update Vikram. The iamge speaks the story. A bit more DOF would ahve been better. Thanks for sharing.
    Regards,
    Bibhav Behera
    www.bibhavbehera.com

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