Drought and an erosion of animal habitat by man has caused hardship among the elephants of Kenya.
CU Baby elephant stumbling over rocks
CU & GV Baby elephant follows herd
GV & CU Mother & brothers trying to make baby walk (3 shots)
BABY ELEPHANT DYING OF THIRST - MOTHER AND BROTHER TRYING UNSUCCESSFULLY TO REVIVE IT.
Initials ESP/0003 ESP/0024
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Drought and an erosion of animal habitat by man has caused hardship among the elephants of Kenya. The animals, largest land mammals in the world, need several square miles of sparsely-spread vegetation daily in order to survive -- and they also need large quantities of water from day to day. But the encroachment of mankind into their natural environment, coupled with a recent drought in parts of Kenya this past rainy season, have reduced both food and water supplies.
This film, shot over a period of six hours, focuses on the plight of the elephants of Kenya in one tragic little drama with a baby elephant dying of thirst -- despite the repeated attempts of its mother and brothers to get it on its feet and lead it on to water. And the ultimate in the tragedy was the baby elephant trying to suck its mother for milk. For the mother, dehydrated herself, could not produce any.
SYNOPSIS: A tragic little drama among the elephants of Kenya was played out recently when a small group of the animals were seen stumbling across drought-ridden country in search of water. The animals, whose natural habitat has been eroded by man, have found more and more of their normal grazing grounds denuded in recent years -- and this season's drought hasn't helped. And here, for one of this group at least, it's the end of life. The baby, struggling to keep up with its mother and brothers in their desperate search for water, just didn't make it.
The saddest part of the tragedy, filmed over a period of six hours, came when the baby tried to suck its mother for milk. For the mother, dehydrated herself, just didn't have any. But the family instinct among elephants is so strong, however, that the mother and brother refused to abandon the baby in their own desperate search for water -- struggling for several hours to try and make it walk. It was only at the end that they left it -- almost dead, and soon to make a meal for carrion-eaters.