At Elephant Nature Park, we are fortunate to have three sets of mothers and babies.
Female elephants are well-known for being extremely motherly and caring. The calves arrive as second nature to female elephants.
Ideally, every female elephant wants to be a mother.
Therefore, the competition is stiff for the coveted role of “auntie” or “allo-mother” to a baby elephant. There are intense bonds between surrogate family members, comparable to those seen in a wild animal family herd.
In ENP’s particular setting, the term “auntie” is multifaceted. Mae Sri Nuan, for example, is currently the main nurturer caregiver for Chang Yim. She must comfort him, distract him from the notion of his mother’s breast, and try to keep him in line – all while maintaining an infinite amount of patience.
Dok Ngern is busy with Dok Mai, Chang Yim’s new baby sister. It will be time for Dok Ngern and Dok Mai to join the herd soon. Yim has to be ready and on his best behavior.
Meanwhile, Sri Nuan is busy taking care of Chang Yim. Chang Yim is a robust and hearty bull with developing tusks who is only months away from his fourth birthday. He enjoys being pampered, but he is also self-sufficient.
He likes a playful sparring match and needs to be put in his place when he takes it too far. He has observed reproductive behavior, which motivates him to look for someone kind and tolerant who will allow him to do so!
Mae Sri Nuan is eager to take on all of these responsibilities. Her role is essential, especially with the arrival of the younger sibling.
Adopted aunties take their role very seriously. They are there to assist the baby because they want to, not because they have to be.