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Baby Elephant Mourns Loss Of Mother In Kenya's Masai Mara (PICTURES)

02/05/2013 15:46 BST | Updated 02/05/2013 16:18 BST

These heart-wrenching snaps capture a baby elephant anxiously nudging its deceased mother in Kenya’s Masai Mara.

The little elephant stayed with the corpse well into the night, even after the rest of the herd continued on without her.

Wildlife Photographer Sarah Skinner captured the elephants saying their final farewells late last year, after hearing about the recent passing on the marsh.

baby elephant mourns dead mother

The little elephant remained with the corpse of her mother well into the night

The 38-year-old said: “It is always sad to hear another gracious giant has passed.

“I had a lump in my throat as I watched on. We were all in complete shock over the incredible behaviour that we were witnessing.

“It was an incredibly moving and emotionally charged moment. The young elephant simply refused to move from her mother’s side, occasionally feeling her body with her trunk.

“It became apparent that this elephant was really affected by her mother’s death.”

baby elephant mourns dead mother

The older elephant is believed to have died of natural causes

As the elephants that had congregated moved closer, some again touched her body with their trunks, while others just stood in silence and mourned their loss.

The herd was observed gently prodding and circling their fallen comrade.

One adult even nudges the dead elephant with her large feet, as if to see if there was any life left, before slowly moving off after realising that nothing could be done.

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Following the solemn procession, the herd moves off, leaving the baby to grieve alone by her mothers’ side.

She sat with her mother as the day draws to a close, continuing to affectionately nudge her trunk.

Even when there was an unwelcome arrival from a number of lions and hyenas, the elephant continued to stand her grand, guarding her corpse long into the night.

Skinner, from Berkshire, added: “It was an emotional scene that I will quite frankly never forget.”

Baby Elephant Mourns Dead Mother