With their tiny bodies and bright, white fur, baby elephants are so often mistaken for adults.
But, unlike their bigger siblings, they don’t have a nervous system to fear or even a mother, they’re just tiny.
So, if you see one baby elephant, chances are, it will be one of the world’s rarest and most endangered animals, the Elephant in Dream, which can live for only about a month and has never been photographed before.
The elephant in dream was born in the forest of Szechuan province in China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in 2016.
After years of living in the dark, the elephant went missing on December 18, 2016.
The case became known as the “elephant cub” case, after a female mother elephant, the “baby elephant,” who was born at the time.
Elephant cubs can be seen around the world in the wild and at birth, but are often the last of their kind.
Elephants are endangered in China, and with their shrinking numbers, there are concerns that they could be lost to the wild.
“We believe that they might be the last remaining captive elephants in China,” says Andrea Brugnaro, who heads the conservation group Elephantine Elephanta in Italy.
Brugnara, who has been researching the elephant cubs for the last six years, has worked closely with the zoo to try to track down the mother.
She’s also set up a special Twitter account, @Elephant_Cubs, to keep track of the animals.
“I have a list of the mother’s phone number, and the last known telephone number in the area,” she says.
“If we find out where she lives, we’ll follow her.”
Brugna says the zoo has had no luck with the mother and baby elephants.
She says the mother was living with other elephants at the zoo, and was not a resident.
“There’s no other information about her whereabouts.
We think that the baby elephants were orphaned,” Brugna adds.
“This is very strange, because they were in the same family, and they are the only one who was ever observed.”
While the mother has been found and tracked down, she may be living somewhere else, or perhaps, may have been killed, says Brugnanaro.
The only thing known is that the elephant in the dream is believed to be a baby, about a year old.
“The elephant cub is the oldest elephant in our collection,” Bungnara says.
If you’ve ever seen a baby elephant walk into its mother’s hands, or seen one of these endangered animals at all, you can read our story on the rare baby elephant in Dream and watch our video to see how it’s been captured in a special live action video.