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Orphaned baby elephant gets to grips with holding its own feeding bottle

Thirsty work: Adorable moment orphaned baby elephant gets to grips with holding its own feeding bottle

  • Bondeni tries to hold onto the bottle of warm formula milk with tip of his trunk
  • Baby elephant loses his grip on the bottle and allows keeper to offer him a hand
  • The footage was captured at the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi, Kenya

This is the heartwarming moment an orphaned baby elephant tries to master holding his own milk bottle. 

Footage captured at the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi, shows the two-year-old elephant named Bondeni try to hold onto the bottle of fresh warm formula milk with the tip of his trunk.

Bondeni, who arrived at the Kenyan animal rescue centre as a newborn in 2019, manages to grab hold of the bottle before dropping it and letting his keeper help him.

The two-year-old elephant named Bondeni tries to master how to hold his own milk bottle at  the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi, Kenya

The baby elephant holds the bottle with the tip of his trunk and manages to slurp its contents

The baby elephant holds the bottle with the tip of his trunk and manages to slurp its contents

During the clip, the baby elephant uses his trunk to hold onto the large bottle as he slurps its contents.

As he raises the bottle higher he loses his grip on the bottle and it falls to the ground.

His keeper picks the bottle from the ground and helps the animal with his feed.

In a message on Twitter the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust wrote: ‘He might be little but Bondeni is big on personality and bravado – watch him try and be a big bull and hold his milk bottle all by himself. He’s an orphan in the care of our Nursery.’

Bondeni first arrived to the rehabilitation centre in 2019 after wandering alone into a village bordering the Chyulu Hills.

The calf’s feet were covered in lacerations from trudging across the nearby lava fields and he was taken to the centre’s Kaluku Field HQ where he was nursed back to health. 

Bondeni initially struggled to walk due to his lacerations but his wounds soon healed and he has since been moved from the Trust’s neonates centre to their nursery.

In order for Bondeni to receive the same amount of nourishment he would in the wild, keepers prepare freshly made formula milk for him every three hours. 

The elephant raises the bottle above his head

Bondeni loses his grip and drops the bottle

The elephant raises the bottle above his head but soon loses his grip and drops the bottle

Bondeni's keeper picks the bottle from the ground and gives the elephant a hand with the rest of his feed

Bondeni’s keeper picks the bottle from the ground and gives the elephant a hand with the rest of his feed

While the keepers will often hand-feed the baby elephants, as they grow older some of the animals prefer to hold the bottle and feed themselves.  

Following the heartwarming scenes, social media users shared their praise for the ‘adorable’ elephant.

One user wrote: ‘Oh he is a great little man. Give home a week and he will have mastered it.’

While another added: ‘They grow up too fast! It won’t be long before he has the hand of that bottle.’

Another person commented: ‘Bondeni is too adorable trying to be a big bull and wanting to be independent. Team SWT – you guys are simply amazing!’

Elsewhere another person said: ‘Could he be any cuter? I just adore him and his personality.’

Social media users were quick to share their praise for the elephant, with one calling him a 'great little man'

Social media users were quick to share their praise for the elephant, with one calling him a ‘great little man’

The Trust, which was founded in 1977 by Dr Dame Daphne Sheldrick DBE, is one of Africa’s oldest wildlife charities and is best known for their work with elephants. 

More than 160 orphaned elephants have successfully been rescued, raised, and reintegrated back into the wild by the charity – which also works with the Kenya Wildlife Service and the Kenya Forest Service. 

African elephants are the largest land animals on Earth and are recognised by their trunks and their large ears which allow them to radiate excess heat.

Meanwhile the Asian Elephant are typically smaller than the African elephant and their skin ranges from dark grey to brown, with patches of pink on the forehead, the ears and the base of the trunk.

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