World Elephant Day: Inside the lives of elephant calves

Elephants, the largest existing land animals, are facing a severe living environment nowadays. The three living species are the African bush elephant, the African forest elephant and the Asian elephant. Their large bodies do not ensure them of survival. On the contrary, they have to find ways to survive under the threat of poaching, habitat loss, human-elephant conflict, etc.

On August 12, 2012, World Elephant Day was launched to bring attention to the preservation and protection of the elephant. This year on August 12, we welcome the 10th World Elephant Day. To celebrate, CGTN Nature has collected a series of photos of elephant calves to bring you inside the lives of these cute animals.

Have you ever seen a B-mode ultrasound image of a baby elephant? This is a 3-month-old elephant in its mother's womb! 

Elephant calves can weigh up to 90 kilograms and stand nearly 1 meter tall. They grow this big because of their long gestation periods. 

Despite being larger than other newborn mammals, they still have some awkward but cute moments, like tumbling. In this photo, an elephant calf tries to run across the road following mum but trips and face-plants into the dirt. It's mum comes over to make sure all is OK! The photo was taken at the Idube Game Reserve in South Africa.

The babies are well protected by the families, especially after long trips. A herd of Asian elephants in southwest China's Yunnan Province stunned the world with an unprecedented northbound trek this summer. This is photo was taken in June as they enjoyed a nap. The group of elephants is heading back to their home in south. 

A baby elephant struggles to reach water to drink as its trunk appears to be slightly too short! This photo was taken in the Addo Elephant National Park in South Africa.

Two elephant calves were caught play fighting in the river. 

They will eventually grow up if we provide them a good planet to thrive.

(All images via CFP)

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