Trapped in the mud and quickly sinking, this pair of elephants seems to have come to an end.
The mother tried to save her cub but got stuck herself- making the rest of the herd understandably wary of trying to save them.
So with no more time to lose, a group of conservationists got into action.
Thinking on their feet, they first threaded a rope under and around the calf and began to pull.
Several attempts have been made to release the young, but it wanted to stay with its mother and resisted.
Finally, trying to avoid the mother’s thrashing trunk, they dragged the calf to safety. But rescuing the heavier mother always proved more difficult.
The rope must be attached to the back of a tractor as they stretch to pull her free. In the end, they succeed in saving her from the muddy grave, and she raced to rejoin the herd – and her baby.
The dramatic rescue took place on the flats of the Kapani lagoon in Zambia.
Rachel McRobb, a member of the rescue team from the South Luangwa Conservation Society, said: ‘Most conservationists believe that humans should not interfere with the natural order and that we should let nature run its course, no matter how cruel or grim it may seem.
‘We agree on the whole unless a wildlife issue is man-made (for example, in the case of a snare or being trapped in a fence, in which case it is justifiable to intervene). card) then nature should be left to her own devices. She has a plan.
‘However – every rule has exceptions and the terrifying plight of a baby elephant trapped in the mud of the Kapani Lagoon and her mother, who had also got stuck trying to save her yesterday, had us all into a frenzy of activity.
‘We simply couldn’t stand by watching them struggle and slowly d.i.e.’
Before the rescue by staffs from the conservation organization, Kapani Lodge and Norman Carr Safaris, the mother and her calf’s herd try to rescue the couple.
When they couldn’t do anything, the group – along with the Zambian Wildlife Service members – moved in while the herd waited on the other side of some trees.
At one point, the calf appeared to be crying out for help while her mother appeared resigned to her fate before the rescue got underway.