The baby elephant shook hands and hugged and kissed the man, thanking him for the cloak that helped him 'survive' the cold season

The baby elephant shook hands and hugged and kissed the man, thanking him for the cloak that helped him ‘survive’ the cold season

Endearing footage of baby orphaned elephants wearing blankets is touching the hearts of many.

The animals are being cared for in an orphanage in Nairobi National Park in Kenya thanks to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.

Photographer James Suter, 30, from Cape Town managed to capture sweet footage of the infant elephants –  who are being hand-raised before reintegrated back into the wild – during his time there.

Cosying up: The animals are being cared for in an orphanage in Nairobi National Park in Kenya thanks to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

Warm: Photographer James Suter, 30, from Cape Town managed to capture sweet footage of the infant elephants – who are being hand-raised before reintegrated back into the wild – during his time there

One clip shows a calf enjoying having its trunk rubbed by a carer to clear its naval cavities while another shows one wearing a colourful blanket like a little coat.

Photographer Antony Kimani explained that the blankets were like a lifeline for the young elephants as without their mothers to cuddle up to they relied on the blankets for warmth and comfort.

He said: ‘These multi-coloured coats are their secret weapon for survival.

‘In the wild baby elephants are sheltered from the wind, rain and sun by their loving and attentive elephant herd, from the cold of the night and cooled in the shadow of their mother from the harsh rays of the sun during the heat of the day.

‘At their young age, the elephants need full time protection, not just from poachers and predators, but from the wind, rain, cold and hot sun during the heat of the day.

‘This is exactly what the blankets provide. Highly susceptible to pneumonia, without the protection of their fluffy blankets, the cold could claim the lives of many orphaned elephants.

Hey buddy: Photographer Antony Kimani explained that the blankets were like a lifeline for the young elephants as without their mothers to cuddle up to they relied on the blankets for warmth and comfort

Friends! He said: ‘These multi-coloured coats are their secret weapon for survival’

Yummy: ‘In the wild baby elephants are sheltered from the wind, rain and sun by their herd, from the cold of the night and cooled in the shadow of their mother from the harsh rays of the sun during the heat of the day’

‘Although a wonderful tool for raising infant elephants, some orphans become overly attached to their “blanky”.

‘Just like a human child, the orphans fiddle, suck and play with their blankets, comforted by what it represents.

‘Yet there must come a time when each orphan must understand they no longer need the comfort of a blanket, and are slowly and lovingly weaned off their attachment on the journey to become a mature elephant and part of a wild herd.

‘This happens when the elephants reach between 12 and 18 months old.’

‘Not only do their blankies provide comfort for the young orphans but they also receive a lot of love and attention from the carers at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust who lovingly feed them milk from a bottle and even scratch their little trunks.’

Often these elephants are orphaned due to ivory poaching, or habitat destruction, deforestation or drought.

Carer: ‘At their young age, the elephants need full time protection, not just from poachers and predators, but from the wind, rain, cold and hot sun during the heat of the day

Treatmemt: One clip shows a calf enjoying having its trunk rubbed by a carer to clear its naval cavities

Check up: Often these elephants are orphaned due to ivory poaching, or habitat destruction, deforestation or drought

Having a good day, honey? Not only do their blankies provide comfort for the young orphans but they also receive a lot of love and attention from the carers at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

 

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