Animals Instincts: birthing and nurturing.
June 15, 2013 10:52 AM   Subscribe

Videos of a chimp, elephant, and leopard giving birth or taking care of young, relying on instinct and what looks like pure love.

Three animals give birth or nurture young. In order of amazingness:

1. Chimp gives birth upside down

2. Elephant gives birth to lifeless baby

3. Leopard saves baby baboon

Note: All three videos are heartwarming but are also kind of sad, in that the first two take place in zoos and the third involves a baby baboon losing its mother. That said, the videos are incredible for their displays of instinct and caring.
posted by whalebreath (9 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I think these are amazing videos — what I don't understand is why zoos don't have a dedicated cage for animals to give birth in, covered with a thick layer of straw so the babies don't plop down on hard concrete and have something to push against (the baby elephant) when getting up to walk
posted by frequency at 11:17 AM on June 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

Tell me if the baby elephant is indeed dead, so I will know whether or not to watch it.
posted by Wordwoman at 1:22 PM on June 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

The baby elephant does finally start breathing.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:38 PM on June 15, 2013

The baby elephant does begin breathing and the first steps it takes will melt your heart.
posted by _Mona_ at 2:19 PM on June 15, 2013

A LOT of people got to watch a giraffe born live on EarthCam. The zoo did put some rumbler garde mulch to soften the landing. Mother giraffe give birth in a standing position. The baby drops about 6 feet. This drop gets the baby breathing.
I hate seeing a birth on pure concrete like with the elephant and the chimpanzee. Many zoos take a birthing female off exhibit if they can, since nothing is predictable about birth.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 3:23 PM on June 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

Speaking of the chimpanzee - is that particular birth position...normal? It seems like that would make birth more difficult.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:01 PM on June 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I've watched the elephant birth video and wondered if a drop onto concrete like that would cause brain damage.
posted by needs more cowbell at 4:22 PM on June 15, 2013

"It was the cold that finally made the baby baboon go quiet."

posted by JoeBlubaugh at 8:07 PM on June 15, 2013 [2 favorites]

Seriously - who could watch even one of those births and think, "OK, no need to change anything. Birthing on cold concrete seems like the way to go for caged animals. Yup, no worries about its impact on infant mortality. Not stress-inducing. Yuppers, concrete's definitely the way to go." ?

And... WHY THE HELL are they not hooked up with video feed, instead of glass windows? Goddamn, their lives are horrid enough... unless throwing feces and projectile spitting at humans is a normal, healthy part of primate behavior in the wild. Goddamn zoos.
posted by IAmBroom at 2:46 AM on June 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

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