Elephant families have a matriarchal head, meaning that an older, experienced lady elephant leads the herd.
A family usually consists of a mother, her sisters, their daughters, and babies (calves). Occasionally, non-related elephants join to form families. Female family units range from three to twenty-five elephants.
Female elephants (cows) help each other looking after calves. Babysitting other female’s calves is important for elephant development; young females learn how to look after the young, and the calves are shown how it’s done.
The survival rate of a calf greatly increases when more females are present and willing to take care of it.