They say an elephant never forgets… and this one-month-old calf needs no prompting to stray from his depth near a dangerous watering hole.
The young man unexpectedly needed help from his caring mother to get out of a sticky mud after wading knee-deep in a quagmire.
She quickly, if not elegantly, pulled an inexperienced child to safely by his tail.
When the drama began, he had been marching with his family herd in Cabarceno Wildlife Park in Cantabria, Spain.
His mother and 5-month-old cousin went ahead and successfully crossed the edge of the watering hole.
But the baby couldn’t climb into the mud, and his protective mother crouched down before she lifted him with his trunk.
Photographer Marina Cano, from Cantabria, captured the rescue on camera.
She said: ‘I live near the park and go there because it’s the best place to photograph African elephants outside of Africa.
‘It’s a large terrain where they bathe and graze in the afternoon.
‘I’ve seen the older baby elephant and the mother get through the watering hole with no problems.
‘But the kid started to slip because of the mud. His mother saw it for a few seconds and helped him before he fell into deeper water, and the situation would be much more difficult.
‘She crouched in the mud and picked him up with her trunk. It was great to see.
‘Once the baby was safe, she stopped for a bit and then they were on their way.
‘It all happened so fast that I didn’t have time to think. I’m sure if she can’t rescue him on her own, the other elephants will help.
‘I never thought the baby could die because I knew the herd was there and was wise enough to save their newborn.
‘I was astonished and happy to be there to take pictures and capture the wonderful moment.
‘It was magical to see what seems like human behaviour – a mother helping her child. It was breathtaking, and I feel honoured. ‘