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For Orphaned Elephant Calf, Harrowing Rescue Ends in Hope

MASAI MARA, Kenya—One day last October, a mother elephant and her ten-month-old calf were seen playing together on the plains of the Maasai Mara National Reserve when a passing tourist photographed the tranquil scene. Twenty-four hours later, on October 22, the young calf was spotted again—this time standing over her mother’s poisoned carcass, seemingly reluctant...

MASAI MARA, Kenya—One day last October, a mother elephant and her ten-month-old calf were seen playing together on the plains of the Maasai Mara National Reserve when a passing tourist photographed the tranquil scene.

Twenty-four hours later, on October 22, the young calf was spotted again—this time standing over her mother’s poisoned carcass, seemingly reluctant to leave her side.

The young calf had her head down, and her trunk was draped across the mother’s back when Richard Roberts, from the Mara Elephant Project, arrived.

Read the whole story on National Geographic News.

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Meet the Author

Paul Steyn
Paul Steyn is a widely-published multi-media content producer from South Africa, and regular contributor to National Geographic News and blogs. Having guided throughout Africa for some years, he went on to edit a prominent travel and wildlife magazine, and now focuses on nature storytelling in all its forms. In 2013, he joined a team of researchers and Bayei on a 250km transect of the Okavango Delta on traditional mokoros. In 2016, he accompanied the Great Elephant Census team in Tanzania and broke the groundbreaking results on National Geographic News . Contact: paul@paulsteyn.com Follow Paul on Twitter or Instagram