Baby elephant left covered in faeces after standing far too close to mum

One little baby elephant in Zimbabwe got a bit too close to its mother – and it didn't end well.

A wildlife photographer captured the exact moment that a mother elephant left faeces on its baby's head.

The photographer watched the series of events unfold in the Mana Pools National Park in Zimbabwe.

But what's not initially obvious is the fact there's more to this action than meets the eye – and according to officials, the act actually helps the younger giants develop a strong immune system.

Jens Cullman, a photographer, 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.


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"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’."

So, in what seems like a very counterproductive move, poo actually helps the baby elephant's immune system.

Photographer Jens added that these photos have a far more serious aspect to them than the dung incident.

He said the mother elephant was skinny because of a bad dry season in the park, a lot of elephants and other animals having reportedly died or suffered.

Jens said: "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."

Jens added that he had to stop the car to snap a photo when she saw the adorable baby elephant.

"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," she continued.

"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."

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