A moving photograph captures the moment a grandmother elephant touches trunks with her daughter and granddaughter as they are reunited after 12 years.
The 39-year-old elephant, Pori, was reunited with her 19-year-old daughter Tana at a German zoo after more than a decade of separation.
She also met her granddaughters Tamika, four, and Elani, one.
Pori was moved from her former home in Berlin to the Bergzoo in the city of Halle, in Germany’s east-central state of Saxony-Anhalt, where she can be with her family.
According to a statement sent to Newsflash, the elephant house will remain closed for the time being to give the animals a chance to relax and become reacquainted.
Visitors can still see the elephants in their outdoor area.
For now, Pori remains in a separate enclosure from her offspring, although in the next few days they will spend time together in the outdoor area to get to know one another.
In the wild, although bull elephants will tend to leave the herd to form new relationships, female elephants tend to remain with their mothers and the reunion is part of a programme to slowly recreate this natural process in herds being held in captivity.
Pori is an African elephant (Loxodonta) who was born wild in Zimbabwe in 1981 and brought to Germany to the Magdeburg Zoo, where she lived from 1983 to 1997, when she was sent to the for Tierpark Berlin for breeding purposes.
In 2001, she gave birth to and raised her first calf Tana who she has now been reunited with.
In nature, elephants always live together in family groups, each led by a lead member.
Daughters tend to stay with their mothers for life, while young bulls leave the herd as soon as they are sexually mature.
The Zoo director, Dr Dennis Muller, said: “Pori’s arrival in Halle is an important step in modern elephant husbandry.
“In the future, all elephant herds in European zoos should be cared for in such natural family structures. Today we have come a great deal closer to this goal. “
The elephant population in zoos is monitored as part of a conservation breeding program (EEP), within which committees made up of experts from different zoos determine new herd compositions and the resulting animal moves.