Visitors to South Africa’s Addo Elephant National Park discovered a herd of elephants desperately trying to pull a baby elephant out of the watering hole in which it had got stuck and called the park rangers for help. After the rangers’ attempts to break the hole’s bank failed, two of them jumped into the water and lifted the drowning calf out and on to the bank. Scuba instructor Corney Coetzee captured the rescue on camera and said:
The adult elephants were using their trunks to spray vast amounts of water on the bank of the watering hole and then putting their weight on the edges in an attempt to break it down. The rangers attempted to use a digger to break the steep edge allowing the baby elephant an escape on to the shore. This unfortunately agitated the distraught adults who moved the baby away from the noise and guarded the little one. A number of the rangers got on to the back of one of the pick-up trucks and raced towards the adults, forcing them to run off into the forest around the edges of the dam.
Once they had the adults far enough away, two of these brave rangers jumped off the back of the truck, and raced towards the water. With all their might they managed to grab this little baby and push it onto the banks. The little one was so tired that for a moment it could not get his legs up underneath him and it looked like he might stumble backwards back into the water. Luckily his rescuers were there to keep him from doing so, and more rangers rushed in from the side, to help him up.
Another pick-up truck was brought in and rangers loaded junior onto the back and drove him to as close as they could get to mom without letting her get aggressive. The truck stopped and the rangers quickly off-loaded their valuable cargo before jumping on the back and racing away.
Mother and child then immediately reunited and walked off into the forest. (Scroll down for the video.)
1. Rangers lift the tired calf to safety at Addo Elephant National Park in South Africa.
2. The animal was unable to climb out of the water as the bank was too steep for its short legs.
3. Rangers arranged a hastily-organized rescue mission after tourists spotted the elephant in distress.
4. The elephants tried to mount their own rescue by trampling the sides of the bank.
5. But it took another kind of mammal to get the exhausted creature to the safety of dry land.
6. The men keep a wary eye on the protective mother elephant who watches nearby.
7. The rescuers wait to see whether the adult will walk towards its calf — or charge their vehicle.
8. The ranger struggles to heave the weighty calf out of the water before it drowns.
9. Another ranger joins in and the animal is finally lifted on to the bank.
10. Moments later it’s back on its feet and the men take it in the back of a pick-up truck to its mother.
11. They offload their precious cargo and then race away to safety before the anxious parent reappears.
12. The mother rushes to be reunited with her calf and checks it over with her trunk.
13. This little creature is unlikely ever to forget its bathtime brush with danger.
And here is the video:
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