Elephant Calf and Family

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After a twenty-one and a half month gestation, the longest of any land mammal, elephants are born into a closely-knit and complex society.  From the moment they are born they are cared for by their mothers as well as by other immature females in the family.  These immature females are known as allomothers and are constantly by their side.  They seem to be irresistibly drawn to small calves and play an important role in their development.  Here, Papita’s calf is flanked by her mother and other family members.