A baby elephant was nearly kicked by his 11.5-ton brother in a terrifying moment last night on BBC’s Animal Babies: First Year on Earth. Safina, just four days old, born to mother Cyclone, in Kenya, began to get her footing and explore her surroundings but got too close to her 11.5-ton brother.
The three-part series follow three wildlife camera operators who film Safina, along with other animal babies, as they grow and develop day by day. The moment, part of last night’s documentary, shows Safina wandering away from her mother and playing too closely with her brother – almost getting dumped by him.
The male elephants had no role in the upbringing of the baby elephants, and Safina was unaware of the danger her brother posed. When her brother became annoyed with her being so close, he kicked his hind leg in her direction – missing her by inches.
Her brother was about 20 times heavier than her – but fortunately, her mother and other female elephants came to her aid, forming a barrier around her and shielding Safina from her brother. The moment shows how fragile a baby elephant is in its first years of life and how the males in the herd won’t protect them.
Sue Gibson is a camerawoman tracking her movements and witnessed her trying to keep up with the herd just days after giving birth. Sue giggled as she filmed Safina falling and getting stuck in the mud, her mother using her trunk to help her up.
She also noted that the baby elephant still hasn’t got used to her trunk: ‘She was wiggling it and seemed surprised by it every time she saw it,’ she said.
A few days later, Sue visited Safina and her herd and noticed a change in their behavior. She quickly realized that they had stumbled on another herd of elephants and one of them was Cyclone’s sister, Monsoon.
Emotional moment seeing elephants introduce Safina to their relative and the elephants using their trunks to bond with each other.
Sue said: ‘They looked really happy to see each other. It’s like someone coming home from a long time and meeting them at the airport – you can’t wait to put your arms around them.’