Baby elephant holds heartbreaking vigil for his dead mother

By Kirstin Buick
16 May 2014

They say an elephant never forgets -- but for this little guy's sake, we hope it isn't true!

Sokotei the five-month-old elephant calf wouldn't leave his mother's side. PHOTO: YouTube Sokotei the five-month-old elephant calf wouldn't leave his mother's side. PHOTO: YouTube

The five-month-old calf spent a harrowing night at his mother's side after she passed away in Samburu, northern Kenya, as rescuers tried desperately to get close enough to take him to safety.

The baby lovingly stroked his mom with his trunk and nuzzled her helplessly for hours until a rescue crew was able to get to him. Luckily, it looks like the calf -- named Sokotei -- is going to be okay. Friendly Sokotei was making friends as soon as he was up and about again. PHOTO: YouTube Friendly Sokotei was making friends as soon as he was up and about again. PHOTO: YouTube Vets were eventually able to tranquilise him in the early hours of the morning.

"Sokotei's rescue was a battle against time to keep him safe," says David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust director Rob Brandford. "Throughout the night, teams from Save the Elephants and the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust were there to support the young calf and everyone had a long night battling to keep him safe from predators by trying to catch him."

Rescuers transported him to the Samburu airstrip to be flown to his new home at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Elephant Orphanage -- where he was making new friends as soon as he was up and about again.

Sources: sheldrickwildlifetrust.org, dailymail.co.uk

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