A calf elephant was flown in the back of a four-seater plane to escape po.a.chers who had mu.rd.ered its entire family.
Max, a one-year-old orphan, was discovered after 100 other elephants, including family members, were slain by p.oa.chers between Chad and Cameroon in Central Africa.
It was placed in the rear of the tiny plane next to Gary Roberts, an American nurse and a missionary to whom it had been flown for medical treatment.
The elephant, weighing 353 pounds, is seen whirling its trunk about as it sits in the plane before gripping a bottle of water between its jaws.
The baby can be seen repeatedly throwing its trunk over Mr. Roberts’s shoulder as he pets it affectionately on the head at one moment.
“You can feel the weight shifting in the aircraft when you’re flying with a big animal like that,” Mr. Roberts said.
Although the video was shot during the rescue last year, it has only recently been released.
Many people have labeled the video “heartbreaking,” with many people condemning the po.ac.hers for their “massacre” of the baby elephants’ family.
One wrote: ‘A sad story of genuine humans giving it all to try and save the only survivor of po.ac.hers’ massacre.’ Another added: ‘How sad that the elephant d.ie.d after all that effort.’