real life

This photo of a baby elephant crying will break your heart

Grab a tissue. Actually, you better get the entire box. This photo and story will break your heart.

A newborn baby elephant, named Zhuangzhuang, spent five hours weeping under a blanket after his mother violently rejected him. The U.K.’s Metro reports the calf’s mum (cringe) stomped on him after giving birth at the Shendiaoshan Wild Animal Reserve in China. Vets at the park patched the big little guy up and took him back to his mother, hoping it had all been an accident, but, again, she attacked, leaving the calf in tears, according to the website.

“The calf was very upset and he was crying for five hours before he could be consoled,” a zookeeper said, according to Metro. “He couldn’t bear to be parted from his mother and it was his mother who was trying to kill him.”

The zookeeper who rescued Zhuangzhuang has adopted the calf, the website reports. “They have made a good bond,” a Shendiaoshan said, the site reports. “We don’t know why the mother turned on her calf but we couldn’t take a chance.”

Excuse us while we go hug our own babies a little tighter - and try to hide our own elephant tears.

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