Elephant Calf Picks Wrong Spot To Walk As Mother Poops On Its Head
This is the moment a mother elephant was caught taking part in what could be a bizarre 'bonding' ritual with her cute calf as she pooed on its head - but the tiny baby even came back for more. Nice.
Jens Cullmann was out alone taking photos in Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe, in October when he spotted the cow and calf from his vehicle.
The hilarious sequence shows the enormous elephant's backside facing the camera in full view with her baby following closely behind, probably completely oblivious to what's about to happen.
It would be an endearing scene if the professional photographer hadn't caught the moment a hefty piece of dung descends towards the baby and lands with a splat on its little head.
Hilariously the baby doesn't seem to mind and Jens even said the pair repeated the weird ritual a few times.
Jens, 50, said: "I think the mum knew what she was doing because she did it a few times and it was a few times that the baby got s*** balls on his head actually.
"It wasn't just that one, it was two or three. And the baby didn't go away either. It was a few times that it hit it on the head actually.
"What I've heard is that when the baby get dung on it, it helps boost the baby's immune system and maybe it's some kind of bonding with the mother as well.
"I got photos of the calf looking towards me and then it gets up and the mum turns around and the calf follows her and then she drops her dung on him.
"The photos were exciting for me, I have to admit. Friends and family I've shown them to think they're hilarious. Everyone was just 'wow wow wow'."
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But in a heartbreaking revelation, Jens said the mother elephant was 'very skinny' because of a bad dry season in the park in which a lot of elephants died and other animals suffered.
He said the mother and baby would have had to spend the whole day in search of any food they could find.
Jens said: "In Mana Pools this year it was very dry and a lot of animals suffered. The mother was a very skinny elephant as well. A lot of elephants and baby elephants died because of [the drought].
"I saw this little cute baby elephant and stopped the car and walked a little bit towards them and took the shot. They were eating. It was the end of the dry season and they really have to go the whole day through the park and look for what they can get.
"I followed them because I like these two elephants. I got these cute shots of the calf next to the big foot of the mum."
Jens, from Nuremberg, Germany, spends six to eight months of the year travelling and doing wildlife photography - and he even has a Land Cruiser in Namibia to get around.
The 50-year-old said he's been taking photos of wildlife for about ten years and the fearless photographer said he enjoys looking for his subjects on foot.
Jens said: "Mana Pools is a park where I'm allowed to walk around and if there are wild dogs on a hunt chasing impalas or whatever I just run after them.
"I've bought a Land Cruiser in Namibia so I just fly in, drive around, take photos and then fly home after a couple of weeks or months. I enjoy it very much.
"I like action shots. I would say that a lion on an ant hill with a sunset is boring. I like it when something happens."
Featured Image Credit: Kennedy News and Media