When Zhuangzhuang the baby elephant was trodden on by its mother shortly after birth, horrified keepers treated the animal as quickly as possible before reuniting the pair.
When the same thing happened again immediately afterwards, they realised that it was no accident. The newborn had been brutally rejected.
Taken to safety, the calf was seen to cry for five hours as staff at the Shendiaoshan animal reserve in China’s Shandong province tried in vain to comfort it.
It is not known why the mother reacted as she did although animals’ maternal instincts are thought to be affected by conditions in captivity.