The Saddest Elephant Story You’ll Read

We all have different relationships with our mothers. Some good, some bad. Many complicated. But I’d bet to say your mother never tried to stomp you to death.

After being born on August 30, 2013 at the Shendiaoshan Wild Animal Natural Reserve Area in China, baby Zhuangzhuang was stepped on by its mother. The vets, thinking it was an accident, removed the baby to treat its injuries, then returned him to its mother two hours later… ONLY FOR HER TO DO IT AGAIN.

The terrible stomping mom

The zoo keepers had to fight the mother away so they could save the baby.

Then (oh man, grab the tissues) the baby cried for five hours. Literally whaled and cried. If you’re doubting that’s true, look at these pictures you soulless monster:

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

The emotions! The poetry! The made-for-TV movie script I’m writing based on this!

Luckily, a staff member adopted the elephant and cares for it full time while at work. The two have apparently made a good bond and baby Zhuangzhuang is doing better.

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Now, call your mother and thank her for not trying to step on you until you were dead.*

– Mark (there’s dust in my eye on Twitter)

*Unless that happened, then don’t call her. Stay away from her. And sorry.