When rescuing a newborn elephant from the mud, a group of tourists found themselves in an awkward position.
After finding the trapped youngster, they decided to participate in conservation efforts.
But when they were again forced to haul the elephant up with a rope and flee after the exhausted animal stood up to charge them.
Fortunately, the rescuers could get out of the way before the elephant or they themselves were harmed.
When the photographer’s guide Norman Crooks was with them in Chirundu, Zimbabwe, they discovered the infant.
“An elephant, less than three years old, was discovered trapped in the mud a couple of hundred meters away by a National Parks and Wildlife Service member who was out on a game drive with conservation students.
Her mother was standing nearby, and she looked exhausted after attempting to get the kid out all night.
“When the group arrived, she att.ac.ked them, and they fled back to our hunting camp for assistance.
“We left our trip and rushed to assist as I know from past experience that when animals become immobile, they do not survive long.
It’s 42 degrees in the sun at this time of year, and the heat and stress of the clash might quickly become overwhelming.
“When I arrived with the other hunters from the hunting camp, we discovered an elephant stuck in the mud, with no mother in sight.
“The first thing to do was splash water on him to cool him down, which seemed to revive him.”
“He was really aggressive and lunged at us with his trunk, but eventually, we were able to wrap a rope around him.
“We attached a rope to a winch on our jeep and started pulling, and slowly but surely he came out.
“After two or three pulls, he was out and up, and things got pretty interesting. The young bull charged us as soon as we let him go.”
Fortunately, the rope slackened, and he was able to return to a nearby elephant herd.
“We checked the next day and he was once again reunited with his mother and a little sister. It was a happy ending, and we were all on a high.”