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Elephant Caught Pooing Directly On To Its Baby’s Head

by : Charlie Cocksedge on : 26 Jan 2020 11:36
Elephant Caught Pooing Directly On To Its Baby's HeadElephant Caught Pooing Directly On To Its Baby's HeadJens Cullmann/Kennedy News

Ever feel like you’re getting shat on?

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Well, while us humans may feel it more figuratively (unless you’re really, really unlucky), this little elephant knows exactly how it feels, literally.

A wildlife photographer capturing pictures in Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools National Park managed to catch the moment an adult elephant pooped on its baby’s head. Though, rather than an unfortunate – and kinda funny – accident, it seems there’s more to the strange dumping dilemma than initially appears.

Elephant Caught Pooing Directly On To Its Baby's HeadElephant Caught Pooing Directly On To Its Baby's HeadJens Cullmann/Kennedy News

It turns out, elephants are rather adept at curling one out onto their kids’ noggin because, somehow, it actually helps the little ones.

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As photographer Jens Cullmann, 50, said:

What I’ve heard is that when the baby get dung on it, it helps boost the baby’s immune system and maybe it’s some kind of bonding with the mother as well.

I got photos of the calf looking towards me and then it gets up and the mum turns around and the calf follows her and then she drops her dung on him.

The photos were exciting for me, I have to admit. Friends and family I’ve shown them to think they’re hilarious.

Everyone was just ‘wow wow wow’.

Elephant Caught Pooing Directly On To Its Baby's HeadElephant Caught Pooing Directly On To Its Baby's HeadJens Cullmann/Kennedy News

However, because we can’t just enjoy this highly amusing if slightly unsanitary moment, photographer Jens added the mother elephant was ‘very skinny’ due to a bad dry season in the Zimbabwe park, during which time a lot of elephants have reportedly died and other animals have suffered.

According to Jens, the mum and calf would spend the whole day walking in search of food.

He added:

In Mana Pools this year it was very dry and a lot of animals suffered.

The mother was a very skinny elephant as well. A lot of elephants and baby elephants died because of the drought.

Elephant Caught Pooing Directly On To Its Baby's HeadElephant Caught Pooing Directly On To Its Baby's HeadJens Cullmann/Kennedy News
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Jens continued:

I saw this little cute baby elephant and stopped the car and walked a little bit towards them and took the shot.

They were eating. It was the end of the dry season and they really have to go the whole day through the park and look for what they can get.

I followed them because I like these two elephants. I got these cute shots of the calf next to the big foot of the mum.

Let’s hope the elephants find some food soon so we can enjoy more pictures just like these ones.

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Charlie Cocksedge

Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist and sub-editor at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.

Topics: Animals, Baby Elelphant, Bonding, elephant, Photography, poo, pooing, Ritual, Zimbabwe