A mom elephant rescued her youngster from drowning in a local river by asking for the assistance of a herd.
The calf is shown excitedly exploring the river’s shallow waters before it falls over when it tries to drink.
As his mom urgently tried to pull him up with her trunk, his head was just visible above the water.
The mom shouted for assistance, and at least 5 other elephants assisted her in dragging the calf out of the water.
After the baby calf fell into a local river, his mother launched a desperate rescue mission.
As his mum urgently tries to catch hold of him and drag him up with her trunk, his head is partially visible just above water. The spectacular rescue was caught by photographer Wesley Wolmarans.
“As we observed the smaller herd approach, we observed a young baby making his way across to the opposite side for a drink,” Wesley recounted.
‘Because the youngster was still too small to function in his trunk, he tried to swallow it.
“The baby dropped into the river the next second, and it was awful,” said Gauteng, a South African.
When other elephants in the herd notice the struggle, they rush to help the mother retrieve the youngster from the water.
At least five additional members of the herd end up joining the mother’s efforts to help her bring the calf out of the water. ‘
As the youngster struggled to keep his head above water, the mother leapt up and began to panic.
‘The mom’s desperate efforts to collect the young were interrupted by a sudden and loud trumpet, and the entire herd was submerged in pursuit of the young in less than a second.
With their legs and trunks, they used them to find and push the baby up against the river bank. He was able to step on solid ground, with his dread visible in his eyes.
The photographs show the moment the drowned elephant was freed, with others forming a protective ring around him.
Small elephants have been reported to pass away in quickly flowing or deep water, a painful experience for those who have seen elephants express indications of sadness.
Wolmarans have seen similar rescues in the wild, with adult members of the herd keeping a close eye on each other’s young. “The mother kept him out of the river after that,” Wolmarans added.
A baby was struggling to keep its head above water when I saw it, and I felt helpless.
“However, the fact that they pulled him out safely was a pure delight.”
Young elephants are frequently drowned in fast or deep water.
In the wild, though, rescues like the one the Wolmarans saw were regular, with senior generations of the herd keeping an eye on each other’s young.