An adorable baby elephant was saved from getting caught in a waterhole after being stuck for several hours.
After quenching its thirst, the tiny infant became trapped in a man-made waterhole and was too small to escape on its own.
Her frantic mother attempted to assist, but she was unable to release her kid.
Fortunately, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust was on hand with a helicopter to pull the infant to safety.
Christian Heimann, a Swiss tourist, recorded the video while trekking in Sentrim Lodge in Tsavo East, near Voi, Kenya, with his wife Celine and friend Margit Ruggieri.
“Margit had inquired at the camp if there were any animals in the waterhole,” says Christian, a software developer.
“The staff informed us that there was a tiny elephant present – when we arrived, we immediately recognized that there was a significant problem.
The calf elephant must have been too interested or thirsty, so it took a big step into the basin’s waterhole.
Unfortunately, the baby’s legs were unable to reach the rim due to its height, so it was unable to jump.
“They can stand on their back legs at a certain age, but this baby was too young to do so – so the cement basin became a trap for him.
It was about 35 degrees outside, and the sun was scorching on the tiny elephant – it was in danger of sunburn or heatstroke since most of the time they were in the shade of their mothers or other herd members.
The mother elephant had no teeth to assist her to remove the infant or protect him.
“The herd had already departed, so the mother had to balance her desire to stay with her baby and be lost in the wilderness against her obligation to keep in touch with the others.”
“The mother was so brave, standing near the infant and attempting to shovel mud into the hole to make a step, but it didn’t work.”
Fortunately, Margit’s husband Trevor works for the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, so she was able to get help.
The mother remained as long as possible after the helicopter arrived – the closer it got, the more frightened she became, so she retreated but when the helicopter departed, she rushed back to her youngster.
“The men were able to reach the waterhole and rescue the baby elephant five times before the helicopter arrived.”
“During the whole scene, we felt the fear of the mother elephant, and we were amazed by her strength.
It would have been a fatal danger for people to get too close to her, which is why the rescue took some time. She also scared away curious waterbucks while protecting her kid.
“I’ve never seen anything like this before.
“We’d been on safari for only seven days at the time. This was a once-in-a-life opportunity.”
“There was a happy ending when the mother and baby were reunited after the infant was saved – Celine and Margit had tears in their eyes, it was very touching.
The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust team did an excellent job, quickly rescuing the calf once they could get near it.
“The waterhole was created by people, but animals are ecstatic to have a simple accessibility to water – had this problem been avoided by placing a little step of wood or cement.
“I really hope they make some changes to prevent this from occurring again.”