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When we consider the need for smiles and happiness, the usual animals to come to mind are adorable little fuzzy kittens and puppies tripping over their own floppy ears. However, we often overlook one of the most adorable little creatures out there – baby elephants!

While the only elephant that comes to mind may be Dumbo, don’t discount the incredible power of these giant land animals. Elephants are highly social beings, each holding their important role in the herd. While the males often wander off on their own, foraging for food and exploring the area, the females stick together with their young to teach and guide them.

There is no arguing the fact that these beings are large, with African elephants weighing on average 5,000 to 14,000 lbs and Asian elephants weight up to 5.5 tons. It should come as no surprise, then, that their young are also surprisingly large. In fact, elephant calves are born at approximately 200lbs and will grow an average of 2 to 3 lbs every day during the first year of their lives.

Unfortunately, with increased rates of poaching and dwindling habitat, it is estimated that there are somewhere between 450,000 and 700,000 African elephants and 35,000 and 40,000 Asian elephants. This number will continue to drop so long as the ivory trade continues to flourish, and we fail to take responsibility for our role in the loss of their habitat. The power is in our hands.

During the first year of their lives, before the calves ‘grow up’ (because they are so small, to begin with), there is no denying that baby elephants are absolutely adorable. Their big floppy ears and clumsy movements make for some adorable moments, ones that are sure to bring a smile to your face! Don’t believe me?

Check out these adorable photos of baby elephants:

#1 – They enjoy playing in the water just as human babies do, as can be seen with these adorable photos of a little among the waves.

#2 –This adorable little one almost looks like it’s smiling.

#3 – These two are just hanging out together.

#4 – Just a couple calves playing around.

#5 – These two are showing their bond, their trunks entangled with one another as they talk a walk together.

#6 – This image captures the beauty of these often overlooked creatures.

#7 – You can’t deny just how adorable this little one is.

#8 – This little one is running along, following mom on a beautiful, sunny day.

#9 – How cute is this little phase, hanging out among the adults.

#10 – Just a baby elephant splashing around, enjoying it’s time in the water.

#11 –They grow at a surprising rate, changing before our eyes.

#12 – Just as human babies like to play in the dirt, so too do young elephants.

#13 – The only thing more adorable than a baby elephant is a pile of baby elephants.

#14 – Bathtime with mom is too adorable when the water is a little deeper than expected.

#15 – This little one is a natural born leader.

#16 – Sometimes all you need for fun is to add a little water.

#17 – It’s time for a drink!

#18 – An adorable little elephant out on its own beneath a beautiful blue sky.

#19 – Just a group of friends playing in the local watering hole.

#20 – Trunks can come in handy when trying to reach over the edge of a raised water holder like this one.

#21 – Mom’s always close by when these two are at play.

#22 – This little one’s just out for a walk, crossing the road behind mom.

#23 – Spending some time at the watering hole.

#24 – Sometimes even baby elephants need a little encouragement from mom to keep moving forward.

#25 – Check out this adorable pair, as one baby elephant attempts to climb onto the back of another.

Check out this adorable compilation of baby elephant videos:

Image via Truth Inside of You