Witness the moment an elephant calf got stuck in a river, and needed a helping hand — or, rather, a helping trunk (or two).
The calf struggled in the water as its mother and the rest of the herd tried repeatedly to rescue the youngster.
In a desperate attempt, the mother backs towards the river and sticks out her leg, in hopes that the youngster will take hold — to no avail. We hear the concerned groans of the human onlookers mix with the worried shrieking of the mother in a startling cacophony.
After several minutes of struggle, the herd once again returns with a great roar. This time they seem more determined than ever.
It seems as though the herd was initially approaching the river with caution, fearful that the river might be too deep. However, a young elephant eventually boldly enters the water, and is quickly followed by several other members of the herd.
As several elephants enter the river, we see just what kind of exquisitely coordinated teamwork elephants are capable of. The herd works together using brute force to help the youngster out of the river and up onto dry land.
How did the elephant calf end up in the river in the first place? It has to do with elephant behavior.
Adult elephants drink water by using their trunks to suck up the water and then spray it into their mouth like a hose, but baby elephants generally don’t learn how to do this until 6-8 months of age.
During this period, they must lap water from the river using their mouth, forcing them to get much deeper into the water than an elephant normally would.
Due to their lack of experience, elephant calves often end up falling in when they bend down to drink from the river.
This was one lucky calf. Thankfully, this amazing and heroic moment was caught on camera at Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa.