Heartwarming footage captured the moment a baby elephant was helped up a steep riverbank by a herd’s matriarch after getting stuck at the bottom.
The footage was taken by filmmaker Kim Wolhuter, 62, visiting the Mashatu Game Reserve in Botswana.
He spotted the distressed baby elephant trying to follow its mother up to the bank of the Majale River and began filming the scene.
The mother elephant continued her march, unaware that her baby was struggling.
Footage shows the giant animals flexing their front legs and propelling themselves up with their limbs as they emerge from the sandy riverbed.
But the tiny calf wasn’t strong enough to get any traction until the matriarch, brought up behind, nudged it with her trunk.
Mr Wolhuter said: ‘The Majale River only flows for a few months of the year, but even when the surface water has disappeared, there is still water under the sand, which elephants often dig for water.
‘I drove along the riverbank the last few kilometers to see who was taking advantage of these dug holes.
‘The north bank is constantly cut off with each flood, but in some places, elephants have managed to maintain steep paths out of the riverbed.
‘I was going through such a road when I saw an elephant about to go ashore.
‘I stop to watch because I’m always amazed at the agility of these huge beasts. The two elephants climbed ashore and moved on.
‘Then the rest of the family followed, led by a cow. She was going up, but then her calf got stuck on the steep ledge.
‘The calf was battling away, and at first, the mother was not aware of what was going on. The matriarch, coming from behind, gently pushed and nudged the baby up the steep ledge and on its path again.
‘His mother only later realized what had happened and came to the rescue, but her baby was already helped.’
“We all know that elephants care and help each other and that the matriarch of the herd came to the rescue, making sure that no one was left behind!”