A herd of elephants comes to rescue a panicking calf who has fallen onto a steep river bank.
In the MalaMala Game Reserve in South Africa, a small elephant calf is attempting to follow a huge adult pachyderm over a ridge.
But the infant struggles and tumbles as it attempts to clear the ledge above the Sand River.
It decides to double back and trudge up an even steeper slope closer to the herd to try a different path.
The young elephant began to make little forward progress after pummeling the gritty ground around this new barrier.
Fortunately, three of the older beasts noticed the calf in danger and rushed to assist.
But the youngster appeared to refuse their assistance and attempted to walk up a lesser ridge on its own.
The herd rushes over to assist and use their trunks to lift the infant once more when they stretch out their front legs over the mound.
As the calf continues to paw at the ground with its front two limbs, one adult yanks it up, and another pushes it from behind.
The newborn calf is kept close to his mother as the herd continues towards the bush and away from the Sand River oasis.
‘The Sand River is home to a large number of elephants, which are continually coming down for a late afternoon drink and play before heading towards the bush over an embankment,’ said Timothy Van Vuuren, 28, who was a game warden and frequently returned to the wilderness.
‘I recall looking at that high step down to the river and seeing how tiny the calf in the herd was, realizing he would have a difficult time getting up there. That’s when I decided to start filming.’
He said. ‘I felt so sorry for the little one as it began to panic, but elephants being elephants, very family-focused, the calf was not left to struggle for long before his family came to the rescue.’
‘We were overjoyed when they helped the tiny one get to his feet and across the embankment,’ he added.
The Mala Mala Game Reserve in South Africa’s largest and oldest private big five game reserve.