"A very spoilt little ele"
October 18, 2012 12:02 PM   Subscribe

A blog about raising (and co-sleeping with) a baby elephant named Moses: Rangers at Vwaza Wildlife Reserve noticed a baby elephant on his own running around frantically trying to find his mother. Moses is now living at Jumbo Foundation founder Jenny Webb's house, alongside her children and pets.
posted by vegartanipla (26 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
Too bad we never got all the story about the mefite who raised tigers..
posted by k5.user at 12:08 PM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

When we brought Catherine home we held her down low for Moses to meet her and he was very sweet and gentle. He ran his trunk gently over her and rumbled softly – the same greeting that he gives to Louise and I. When she was in her pram he came and stood near rumbling softly and running his trunk just above her and then he came to supervise her bath putting his trunk into the water next to her ( Matimat says he was checking that the water was the correct temperature) and he remained in the bathroom until the whole process was over – just wish I had a camera with me at the time as it was rather a special moment.

Okay I'm going to show this to the cat and ask WHY CAN'T YOU BE LIKE THIS WITH BABBY KABANOS?? Yes, okay, okay, I'll feed you.
posted by Kabanos at 12:22 PM on October 18, 2012 [2 favorites]

So basically this is just to make elizardbits collapse into a diabetic coma, right? Right?

posted by mightygodking at 12:33 PM on October 18, 2012 [4 favorites]

My advisor apparently helped rescue a baby elephant whose mother had been poached while he was doing fieldwork in the Ivory Coast. The baby was still young enough to be nursing, so they asked the closest Nestle powdered milk factory to donate a lot of powdered milk. They used an empty (clean) oil drum and fashioned a nipple out of a condom with a hole in it. After she got a little older, she was transferred to the zoo in Abidjan, but unfortunately she died in 2000. I hope Moses does better!
posted by ChuraChura at 12:44 PM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

Born To Be Wild portrays an elephant shelter where this is also common.
posted by mkb at 1:06 PM on October 18, 2012

It may not be ideal but being part of a family is certainly important for a baby elephant. It should be interesting when he gets older and still wants to sleep in the house with his "brothers and sisters".
posted by tommasz at 1:12 PM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

This seems like an alright place to drop this video of a rescued baby elephant with a happy ending.
posted by inigo2 at 1:27 PM on October 18, 2012 [4 favorites]

At some point the family will just start refusing to discuss this with each other or anyone else.
posted by srboisvert at 1:27 PM on October 18, 2012 [5 favorites]

I love the pictures of Moses and the dog.
posted by dragonplayer at 1:37 PM on October 18, 2012

When that elephant is, like, 30, he will use Google Maps to find his mother.
posted by mwhybark at 1:53 PM on October 18, 2012 [6 favorites]

That picture of the little guy poking his trunk into the baby's bathtub is priceless. I feel like that should happen to every little kid.
posted by dlugoczaj at 2:27 PM on October 18, 2012

I love this little guy - and the way the blog describes his personality. But please, no one tell my dogs (60 lbs and 45 lbs) about the elephant getting to co-sleep.
posted by Squeak Attack at 2:39 PM on October 18, 2012

Its worth watching the video.
posted by zia at 2:49 PM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

Have you ever seen a grown up elephant piss puddle or dump up close?

(My own theory is that was the last straw on posting images to metafilter.)
posted by bukvich at 2:50 PM on October 18, 2012

This past week has brought a lot of amusement to the carers as Moses starts to explore his “family” and seems to be relating what he finds to himself. It started off with him spending a long time in the middle of the night exploring my face with his trunk and then exploring his own face. He felt all over my face and then all over his, felt my eyes then felt his, tried to put his trunk in my mouth and then in his, pulled and felt my ears and then his and then he got to my nose……. He then spent ages feeling all over his forehead for his nose, went back to pulling my nose and back to his forehead. You could almost imagine him wondering why I had one of those funny things and he didn’t – he seems to relate my arm and hand to his trunk as I use it to demonstrate splashing in water, playing in the dust, picking things up etc. His fascination with noses has continued all week with him feeling Louises nose, the cats nose, the dogs nose etc.
That is one extremely clever little elephant.
posted by talitha_kumi at 3:22 PM on October 18, 2012 [10 favorites]

We are gradually discovering just exactly how smart elephants are.

Here in Houston, there's a GREAT new habitat at the zoo for them. You can get pretty close -- enough to almost-but-not-quite touch.

The best part was when little baby Baylor was born. He got a kiddie pool. It was awesome.
posted by uberchet at 3:49 PM on October 18, 2012 [3 favorites]

Please keep posting excerpts here. That website's font choice hurts.
posted by HyperBlue at 4:13 PM on October 18, 2012

I want a baby elephant in a swimming pool!
posted by BlueHorse at 7:02 PM on October 18, 2012

Some of my favorite bits:
He and I spend the nights in the dining room – initially it was me on a mattress and Moses on a grass bed nearby but he soon decided that he would far rather sleep on a mattress thank you and made himself quite comfortable on the mattress gently pushing me onto the grass – we have compromised by putting 2 matresses together on the floor of the dining room and sharing them! He does however insist on having sheets on the mattress and if the sheets have not been put on he just wont go to bed...

He is also becoming a lot more sensitive and responsive to emotions and I have to be careful of controlling any feelings of frustration or tension when I am with him as this does result in him becoming more restless and confrontational. Conversely he responds to any feelings of affection with calmness and a rubbing of his trunk all over me and rubbing his tongue on my hands and to sadness with wrapping his trunk around me and gently swaying. It really does bring home how very emotional these animals are and how the person looking after them does have to genuinely care for them and not just go through the motions of providing food and a presence.

I was given a “serious lecture” yesterday evening as I was helping Louise set up for the David Kelly exhibition and so arrived home just after dark to be met by a very cross little elephant who lay next to me rumbling and grunting for nearly an hour with his trunk wrapped tightly round my arm as if he was telling me exactly how irresponsible I was to leave him with Matimat when according to his routine it was my turn to be on duty. He did get over his grump though, fell asleep and by the 8 o’clock feed everything was back to normal.
posted by vegartanipla at 8:52 PM on October 18, 2012 [2 favorites]

A two year old elephant toddler, of 500 kilograms accidentally crushed and critically injured his adoring keeper in Sydney's Taronga Zoo today. I predict this will also not end well. SMH article.
posted by taff at 5:22 AM on October 19, 2012

Another fun baby elephant video.
Will I ever grow up?
posted by inigo2 at 6:40 AM on October 19, 2012

I'm going to guess that the normal arguments about the dangers of co-sleeping with babies don't apply here.
posted by SpacemanStix at 11:23 AM on October 19, 2012

Well, the dangers are still clearly there - for the mom. Apparently he likes to try to sleep on her head.
posted by vegartanipla at 2:48 PM on October 19, 2012

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