There is cute and then there is tough baby elephant cute, which is a whole level of preciousness.
This is something I realised after watching footage of a sweet, courageous baby elephant trying to intimidate a safari truck with his ears and itty-bitty trunk.
Filmed at Kruger National Park on August 6, the footage shows the herd of elephants passing peacefully in front of a green safari truck.
However – clocking the truck – the baby elephant breaks away from the rest of his group and begins to saunter over like a four-legged Clint Eastwood.
The cocky baby can be seen staring defiantly at the strange metal elephant on wheels, scraping his feet in the dust and swinging his trunk this way and that in a way which clearly says, ‘yeah, and what?’
Older elephants – including one which appeared to be his mother – patiently intervene, perhaps well-used to the young calf’s cheeky ways.
Finally calmed, the mini elephant nuzzles into a bigger elephant for comfort, ears suddenly flat against his head as he decides to behave himself. Not quite so ferocious and grown-up after all!
The person who captured the charming moment said:
With its ears spread out and trunk swinging around, the baby elephant believed he could intimidate the big green object standing in the road in front of him.
It was extremely funny to see this amusing behaviour.
They may be completely adorable, but baby elephants are also extremely impressive, hardy ‘little’ creatures.
According to Elephant Facts, a baby elephant usually weighs around 170 to 250 pounds at the time of their birth.
Within mere minutes of being born, they can stand without any help and can even walk all by themselves within just one to two hours.
Baby elephants guzzle up to three gallons of their mother’s milk a day, helping them to grow up to be big and strong. By the time they are just two-years-old, they will weigh around 1900 to 2000 pounds.
Happy belated World Elephant Day! ?Here is a mum and baby in Kruger National Park, South Africa ?? #worldelephantday #elephant #elephant? #naturephotography #wildlifephotography #africa #southafrica #krugernationalpark #safari #savetheelephants pic.twitter.com/mbiHZDmcyV
— Dr Amber Lee, BVSc, DABVP (Avian Practice) (@DrAmberLee) August 14, 2018
Happy #WorldElephantDay One of our most profound experiences in seeing wild African Elephants on the move was in Kruger National Park @SANParksKNP @SouthAfrica We were deeply touched to see adult elephants carefully shepherding their babies across a dirt road. #ElephantDay pic.twitter.com/NSkg9lUaSc
— Bob & Jean Travel (@FrameToFrameBJ) August 12, 2018
Speaking about elephants on their website, Kruger National Park shared some of the incredible attributes of elephants which make them such special animals:
Elephant have excellent memory in comparison to other animals, but this is also likely to their long life-span.
They travel over great distances and may only return to a specific area every few years, so they need to remember where to find food and water. This is especially true if drought or flooding occurs.
It has also been proven that Elephants remembered and reacted to the scent of urine of other Elephants that they hadn’t had contact with for 30 years! This is likely in captured zoo animals.
The park added:
The trumpet is an expression of stress, anger or excitement. This excitement could be in reunion of a friend, in the discovery of a water hole or in play.
Fav moment in Kruger National Park, S. Africa: baby elephant puts trunk in mom's mouth to sample what she's eating pic.twitter.com/67A1hlkUg2
— Kate Wong (@katewong) December 7, 2015
A baby elephant in Kruger National Park in South Africa uses a large piece of bark to scratch a hard-to-reach itch. pic.twitter.com/jtE6a2gezd
— Mike ???? (@MikeTaylor2011) August 2, 2015
Happy World Environment Day !! ??? are the Breath of Life !
This brand new baby elephant is only minutes old and won't leave it's mom's side. Cute wild animal footage, recorded in the Kruger National Park, South Africa #WorldEnvironmentDay
source: https://t.co/qKcWPZqNUG pic.twitter.com/GfJ1kaJcIQ
— Animal Welfare WW (@animalwelfareWW) June 5, 2018
I defy anyone to show me a cuter baby than this naughty little chap, elephant or human!
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.