“They immediately enveloped him and led him out into the forest to meet the rest of the nursery herd,” Rob Brandford, executive director of DSWT, told The Dodo. “The greeting he was met with was a warm one, with the other babies reaching out their trunks to comfort and welcome Mukkoka as a new family member.”
As highly social animals, elephants thrive when living alongside others of their kind. They rely on one another for comfort and friendship — and the others knew Mukkoka needed it most of all.
It was an especially touching moment for the elephants’ human caretakers, even though they see the animals’ deep family bonds and compassion for others nearly every day.