Warning: Keep preparatory tissues at hand. This one is a tear-jerker.
On August 30th, a newborn elephant at the Shendiaoshan Wild Animal Nature Reserve in China was repeatedly stomped on by his mother. The zookeepers initially felt that this had to be an accident, and removed Zhuangzhuang (the baby elephant's proper name) from the area to tend to his wounds. However, upon returning Zhuanghzhuang to his habitat, the mother began her stomping again. The zookeepers separated the two once more in order to further assess the situation. Zhuangzhuang sobbed uncontrollably for five hours upon being separated from his mother.
THIS IS SO SAD. It's amazing to see a display of such sorrow and complexity from such a small, fragile animal. Though Zhuangzhuang is getting the proper physical and mental help he needs, thanks to his adoption by a very nice zookeeper (who should definitely get a raise), my heart still aches. I like to think of this as an example of how, sometimes, the best kind of parent is one who is unexpected.
Watch the video below to learn more about Zhuangzhuang and how he is recovering.