This adorable video shows a baby elephant practicing charges

Baby elephant
YouTube/zrphotography

Attention, animal lovers: All hands on deck! Brace yourself for incoming cuteness!

A super-sweet video of a baby elephant is making the rounds on social media due to high levels of adorableness. But the little guy isn’t just toddling around doing silly stunts — he’s practicing for life as a big, strong adult by perfecting his charging technique.

The clip was captured by South African photography duo Zander and Stefni Rautenbach while on vacation in Kruger National Park. Located in the northeast corner of South Africa, the massive reserve is famous for its abundant wildlife, including giraffes, zebras and the big five (lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and African buffalo).

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The Rautenbach family was visiting Kruger as a holiday treat when they shot the video, Zander explained on the pair’s YouTube page.

“We always manage to find ourselves in what we like to call an ‘elephant roadblock!’” Zander wrote. “We were stationary waiting for a herd of elephant … when this young elephant decided to practice his charging skills! We were impressed with his tenacity and started filming.”

The short video shows the little elephant gamboling about while cars patiently wait. It doesn’t seem to have a clear target in mind at first, but soon sets its sights on a suitable enemy: a pile of poop.

Of course, in classic kid fashion, this elephant tramples the pile, makes a big mess and flees the scene.

Take a look:

Yikes! Tough guy!

This type of display — the wide, flapping ears, the swishing trunk  — is a smaller-scale version of natural elephant behavior. According to South African National Parks, elephants charge when they sense a threat to themselves or their young. This juvenile was mimicking older members of the herd by practicing this behavior. Someday, it may need to use these moves to defend itself or its own children from one of the other estimated 13,050 elephants now living in the park (at last count).

“Most charges are mock charges which are broken off before the target is reached,” says the SANP website. “However, if an attack is followed through, an elephant is quite capable of killing another elephant, other animals (including humans) or wrecking cars.”

On this day, however, the only thing that actually got wrecked was that pile of dung. Oh, and our hearts, from the rampaging cuteness!

[h/t: Newsweek]

Animals, Wild Animals

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About the Author
Kathleen St. John
Kathleen St. John is a freelance journalist. She lives in Denver with her husband, two kids and a fiercely protective Chihuahua. Visit Scripps News to see more of Kathleen's work.

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