This impressive video, shot by wildlife photographer Mariana de Klerk, is a great demonstration of the strong familial bonds that elephants share. When this baby elephant gets stuck in a waterhole at Kruger National Park in South Africa, the mother elephant is right there to lift the calf to safety with her massive tusks. The mother then gets stuck herself and is able to escape, but with other herd members looking on, she was never on her own.
We’ve posted videos of female elephants saving their babies from waterholes and mudholes before. Baby elephants already know how to swim, but slick mud makes them lose their footing, preventing their return to dry land. Adult elephants are strong enough to manage on their own, but the babies still need a hand once in a while. It seems to be a normal part of growing up in elephant families, and in the wild, calves always have other family members around to keep them out of harm’s way.
Image source: I Love Trees/Flickr