The tiny baby got stuck in the artificial waterhole after quenching its thirst, and it was too small to get out on its own.
Its desperate mother tried in vain to help, but she was unable to free her child.
Fortunately, help was from David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, who came to the rescue in a helicopter to pull the baby to safety.
The footage was shot by Christian Heimann, from Switzerland, on a trip to Sentrim Lodge in Tsavo East, near Voi, Kenya, with his wife Celine and friend Margit Ruggieri.
Christian, 27, who works as a software developer, said: “Margit asked the camp staff if there were any animals in the waterhole.
“Staff told us there was a little baby elephant there – when we got there, we could see right away there was a big problem.
“The baby elephant must have been too curious or thirsty to get into the waterhole of the cement basin waterhole.
“Unfortunately, the rim was too high for the baby’s legs, and the elephant couldn’t jump.
“At a certain age they can stand on their hind legs, but this baby is too small for this – so the cement basin turned into a trap for the animal.
“It was easily 35 degrees, and the sun was scorching on the little baby elephant – he was in danger of sunburn or heatstroke, as most of the time they were in the shade of their mothers or members of the herd.
“The mama elephant had no teeth to help remove the baby or protect them.
“The herd had just gone, so the mother had to decide whether to stay with her baby, and got lost in the wilderness or leave it to stay in touch with the herd.
“The mother was brave – she stood near the baby and tried to shovel some mud into the hole to make a step, but it didn’t help.
“Fortunately, Margit’s husband Trevor works for the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, so she was able to get some help.
“When the helicopter arrived, the mother stayed as long as possible – the closer she got to it, the more scared she got so she backed away, but when the helicopter left, she rushed towards her baby.
“The helicopter approached five times before the men were able to reach the waterhole and rescue the baby elephant.
“During the whole scene, we felt the fear of the mother elephant, and we were amazed by her strength.
“It would be dangerous if humans approached her, which meant the rescue took some time. She also warded off curious waterbucks as she tried to protect her baby.
“I have never seen anything like this before.
“We were hunting just seven days before this happened – this was a once-in-a-lifetime shot.
“After the baby was rescued, there was a happy ending as mother and baby were reunited – Celine and Margit were in tears; it was so touching to see.
“The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust team did an outstanding job – as soon as they were able to get close to the baby, they rescued it within a minute.
“Humans had made the waterhole, but animals are happy to have water easily – but this problem could be avoided by putting a simple process made of wood or cement.
“I really hope after this they make some improvements to prevent it from happening again.”