There are thousands of animals in nature, and the female elephant is recognized as a "good mother" by the whole world. On the African savannah, elephants live by water and grass. During the migration process, when encountering a fast river, the baby elephant may be washed away, and the female elephant who has crossed the river at this time will walk along the bank for several kilometers until the baby elephant is rescued.

Elephants are particularly fond of their cubs. Whether it is African elephants or Asian elephants, in all elephant herds, baby elephants are the focus of attention. This article will explain why elephants are so fond of their young.

Female elephants are very gregarious animals, they live with their daughters all their lives, so female elephants are also one of the few animals in nature that can take care of their cubs and accompany them throughout their lives. The "matriarch" in the elephant herd is very important, and it can even affect the rise and fall of the entire elephant herd, even life and death. A 2008 study showed that after the death of the old "matriarch", people detected a sharp increase in corticosterone levels in the dung of other elephants in the herd, indicating that they were nervous and disturbed.

In 2013, Victoria, the matriarch of the elephant herd in the Samburu National Nature Reserve in northern Kenya, died of natural causes, with other members of the herd nearby. After her death, her 13-year-old son kept poking it with ivory as if to help it get back on its feet. Her 10-year-old daughter lingered near the body for a long time, and finally left with the elephants. Many scientists have long believed that elephants, like chimpanzees and dolphins, can express their emotions and even empathize with them.

In addition to the living habits of elephants, and their high enough IQ and rich emotions, why are they so good to their cubs? Maybe it's because every baby elephant in the elephant herd is precious.

Generally speaking, the lower end of the natural world, or the lower the food chain, the stronger its reproductive capacity. For example, the reproductive capacity of wild boars is much higher than that of tigers, and the reproductive capacity of carp is stronger than that of wild boars. As a behemoth, an elephant has no natural enemies after adulthood, and its reproductive capacity is naturally low, because if it is too high, the environment will be unbearable.

The gestation period of an elephant is about 22 months, the longest among mammals. The birth interval is 4-5 years. Female elephants begin to give birth to their first litter at the age of 12-16 years. The average lifespan of a wild elephant is 50-70 years. Like humans, elephants often have only one cub at a time, and rarely twins occur.

Due to the small number of births, elephants must ensure that the survival rate of baby elephants is high enough for the population to continue. Although the baby elephant can stand and walk soon after birth, in the first few days, it is unstable and has poor eyesight, making it vulnerable to other large predators. And the careful care of the mother elephant and the elephant herd is particularly important.

In a group of elephants, if a baby elephant is born, almost all members of the group will surround the newborn elephant and stroke it with their trunks. Since the newborn baby elephant is really too weak, the mother elephant will protect it around, and at the same time, other members of the elephant group are not allowed to appear near the baby elephant.

The baby elephants within three months rely entirely on the milk of the mother elephant for their food source, and only after three months do they start to eat plants. All the females in the elephant herd take great care of the baby elephants. If a female elephant dies unexpectedly due to poaching or other accidents, other females in the herd will take over the role of mother and take care of her cubs for the female elephant.

In general, it is precisely because baby elephants are very precious and elephants are emotionally-rich and highly intelligent matrilineal social animals that mother elephants show so much doting to their cubs. In fact, female elephants have always shown great interest in caring for their cubs. It has been observed that other nulliparous females in the herd will also actively care for the cubs in the herd, because doing so allows them to learn how to care for the baby elephants and prepare them for having children in the future.