There is something special about babies that appeals to humans a lot, whether it is a baby of a human or an animal. Asian and African elephant infants are called calves, which makes them one of the most basic facts about elephants. Their mothers provide them with nutrients, hygiene, and the ability to survive during the infant stage. It teaches them how to feed, drink, and bathe using its trunk.
As they become adolescents, they are no longer called calves. One of the smartest animals on earth, they are the world’s biggest and most intelligent land animals. Due to the elephant being the largest land mammal on earth, it gives birth to giant babies. The calves of an African elephant can weigh as much as 200 pounds and measure as high as three feet.
Baby Elephant Habitat Facts
Elephants are the animal of water. They love eating grass and bathing in the water. That’s why, their favorite places to live are Savannas, swamps, and highlands of Asia and Africa.
What Do Baby Elephants Eat
Elephants are herbivores. It means they eat grass and plant material just like leaves and berries etc. But baby elephants do not eat it. For the first two years, they drink their mother’s milk. After 3-4 months of their month, they also start eating plants but they continue drinking milk to get complete nutrition. In some cases, they continue drinking milk for up to 10 years! It depends on the surrounding environment and the availability of the food.
Elephant Mother and Baby Relationship
Some animals leave their children to grow alone but elephants are very caring and emotional. Their parents take extra care of their calves. The mother keeps their young ones under her belly and between her legs to protect her from predators. In addition, this activity keeps the calves cool in the scorching sun.
When the baby is sad or in pain, the mother soothes her baby by touching him with the trunk. And, when they are happy they follow their mother and try to make noise as their mother does.
Facts About Baby Elephant Trunk
Baby elephants have a trunk too as the elder one has but they do not know what to do with it. While drinking water, they drink from their mouth directly, rather than drinking from the trunk. They look super cute when they do this. However, it takes time and skills to learn how to use their trunk.
Swimming also requires trunk usage. But, in the beginning, they put their trunk into their mouth. It takes them nearly one year to figure out how to use their trunk. They observe their mother, other siblings, and group members and do the same and learn.
Baby Elephant Growth Rate
Their maturation phase is very interesting. In their first 10 years, they played a lot. Male elephants play and chase the other male elephants while the female elephants play and run through the grass. They also chase birds with other females. They become sexually mature at the age of 10-12. This period can extend to14 to the case of Asian elephants.
During this phase, the male leaves their group (herd) while the female lives with its group, parents, and other group members.
How Long Does a Baby Elephant Stay With Its Mother?
Just like humans hire babysitters for their babies, elephants also do the same. Mummy elephant has to do other activities in the group rather than just raising her calf so she hires a babysitter. Generally, it is the young female elephant from the herd. She takes care of the calf and protects it and teaches it many things.
It is very useful for that babysitter as well. As she is young, she learns how to raise the calf. So, when she becomes a mother she already knows how to take care of the calf. Everything works smoothly.
Similarities Between Elephants and Humans
There are many similarities between human babies and calves. We have seen that human babies suck their thumb to comfort themselves. It’s a natural instinct. Calves don’t have thumbs but they have their trunk. So, they suck their trunk. Sounds interesting?
As in the beginning, they do not know much about their body, they consider it fun to move their trunk. It feels funny to move and wave their trunk. They also enjoy grabbing things around and throwing them. It is, indeed, a great activity to spend some quality time.
When Do Baby Elephants Grow Tusks?
When a calf is born, it does not have tusks. When it reaches the age of 2 years the tusks start appearing. Tusks are, in fact, their teeth that help it in its later life. They are used to defend and fight. Plus, they are also used to dig the soil.
Unfortunately, the human kills elephants for this tusk as it is made of the material “Ivory”. This is used in many ornamental and decoration pieces and it is very costly. So, hunters in greed sometimes also kill baby elephants for their tusks. That’s a sad reality.
What Age Does a Baby Elephant Start Walking?
Babies of most animals take time to start walking. As their legs are not that strong to bear the weight of the body. However, claves are different. Surprisingly, soon after birth, they can stand. Most of the time, it takes 20 minutes to stand after birth, and just after 1 hour of birth, they are able to walk.
This ability is extremely useful as after 2 days, they are able to balance their bodies and now they are ready to walk and join their herd. Incredibly, the herd doesn’t have to weigh much for the calf to walk and the herd can keep migrating in search of food and water.
Baby elephants are one of the cutest animals and their abilities just like walking immediately after birth, make them unique animals on this planet.