A baby elephant has reportedly cried for five hours after it was rejected and stomped on by his mother, according to reports out this week.
The newborn elephant cried after he was separated from his mom for his safety by zookeepers in China.
Zookeepers were forced to intervene when a female elephant, who just gave birth to a calf, started to stomp the newborn to death.
The incident took place Aug. 30, at the Shendiaoshan Wild Animal Reserve Area, in Shandong Province.
Baby elephant Zhuangzhuang was born at the zoo, and immediately after the birth the mother attempted to stomp him to death.
Zoo officials initially thought that the female elephant stamping on the baby was an accident and had taken Zhuangzhuang out to treat his injuries. They then returned the calf quickly to be cared for by his mother. However, they were horrified to see that the new mom started to stomp on her calf again.
This forced the zookeepers to take the calf away. The calf, rejected by its mother, reportedly began crying, and continued to cry for five hours, refusing to be comforted by staff.
Pictures here show the heartbreaking photos of the baby elephant's tears for its mother.
However, baby Zhuangzhuang has now recovered and has been adopted by a keeper.
A spokesman for the zoo said: "The calf was very upset and he was crying for five hours before he could be consoled. He couldn't bear to be parted from his mother and it was his mother who was trying to kill him. They have made a good bond. We don't know why the mother turned on her calf but we couldn't take a chance."
It is not known why the mother rejected her calf. Gestation in elephants typically last around two years. The longer gestational period allows the fetus to develop the brain and trunk. Newborn calves are precocial and can stand and walk almost immediately following its mother and herd. A new calf is usually the center of attention for an elephant herd.
See photos of the baby elephant that cried for five hours after being rejected by its mother in the video below: