Amazing footage was captured in South Africa’s Kruger National Park of a mother elephant appearing to kick her stillborn baby back to life. 

Kruger National Park is one of the largest game reserves in Africa, abundant with a diversity of unique and endangered wildlife including the African buffalo, black rhino, Burchell’s zebra, and beloved African bush elephant. The park boasts a larger number of mammals than any other wildlife reserve in Africa, including more than 8,000 elephants.

The African bush elephant is the most massive terrestrial animal alive today, weighing more than 12,000 lbs and standing up to 13 ft in height. They are herbivorous animals that inhabit wooded and grassland habitats.

Although males are prone to living alone, females are generally social animals, comprising varying sizes of herds consisting of related females and their offspring. Relationships between elephant mothers and their calves are very intimate and persist even within other female herd members.

When one female elephant gives birth, it is common for other herd members to come and touch the newborn calf with their trunks, welcoming it into the world.

Tourists within the Kruger National Park were on a sunset drive from Satara when they encountered a couple of female elephants and what appeared to be a stillborn baby.

The calf was motionless, and at one point the mother started to move away from the baby. One of the tourists pointed a thermal camera at the scene — to their surprise finding the newly born calf still living.  

elephant-kick-baby-2

What they viewed next was both unbelievable and heartwarming, as the mother returned to her calf’s side and started nudging his body with her legs — essentially kicking him back to life.

While the calf wobble unsteadily on his feet for quite some time, the mother remained by his side, supporting him until he was able to find his own balance, and journey away with her back into the wild.

Watch the sensational video below: