The mother initially kicked him, and later tossed him from one corner to another forcing the keeper to sperate them.
An incident from the year 2015 makes us wonder if there is any difference between animal and human emotion. In May that year, a female elephant gave birth to her baby at the Shendiaoshan Wild Animal Nature Reserve in Rongcheng, China. Shortly after giving birth, the elephant stepped on her calf and injured him, reports Metro. Veterinarians who assumed it was an accident tended to the injured calf and united him with his mom two hours later. Unfortunately, she attacked him once again and this time the hapless calf was tossed from one corner to the other.
A keeper immediately separated the calf from the hostile mother to prevent any more injuries. Then they named the little one Zhuang Zhuang. What's heartbreaking is that despite being attacked by his own mother, Zhuang Zhuang just couldn't bear to be separated from his mother. The calf was very upset and he was crying for five hours before he could be consoled," said one employee. "He couldn’t bear to be parted from his mother and it was his mother who was trying to kill him." Heartbreaking pictures of the distressed calf show tears streaming down his face.
In another heartbreaking picture, Zhuang Zhuang is under a blanket, but he just couldn't stop weeping. Zookeepers kept a close eye on the little one, but with time he improved, said zookeepers. Meanwhile, they noticed that the mother elephant was showing a loss of appetite, and vets assume that she is depressed, which could explain why she did this to her young one. As for her calf bawling his eyes out, Santa Barbara of the University of California explained it was his way of showing his emotions. The university offered a detailed explanation of why elephants cry. It stated: "The answer to this question depends on how you define crying."
"If by crying you mean shedding or producing tears, then the answer is most certainly yes. Supposedly, all or nearly all mammals that live on land produce tears to protect and lubricate their eyes, including you! This is important because mammals (and you) have eyes that move in your sockets and your eyes need to stay moist in order to move properly. Also, the tears help to clean dirt, dust, or any potentially harmful particles out of your eyes. This is the same for elephants as it is for you. If you define crying to mean shedding tears in response to emotions, then the answer to your question is a little more difficult."
@dodo I saw this a while back and my heart was broken.To see it crying and suffering was unbearable.They are intelligent and feel emotion— Nashoba (@hardcorerox) November 8, 2015
"It is easy to show that elephants produce tears, but it is not possible to demonstrate that these tears result from emotions (what about the elephant's behavior, especially when it is consistent with tears such as the death of a baby), so we cannot really say for sure that elephants cry from emotions." Elephants have always been known to exhibit human-like symptoms when it comes to happiness and even grief, as per PBS. Some researchers suggested that these creatures might even relive memories and equate such an interest in the dead that they have their very own concept of one's loss.