Botswana News

Struggling baby elephant gets helpful boost from herd’s matriarch [watch]

A new wildlife sighting shows an elephant herd’s matriarch using her trunk to help lift a baby elephant up the side of a riverbank after he found it too steep of a climb.

Baby elephant gets helping hand

New footage, shared by wildlife application, Latest Sightings, shows an elephant herd trying to get out of a riverbed via a steep path when the young calf kept slipping.

The matriarch came up from behind and gave the young calf a helping hand, nudging the little one on its way.

The rare sighting was captured by 62-year-old wildlife filmmaker, Kim Wolhuter, while on a drive along the Majale River, in Mashatu Game Reserve, Botswana.

Kim told Latest Sightings that the Majale river only flows for a few months of the year, but even once the surface water has disappeared, there is still water under the sand, which elephants will often dig to get to the water.

“I had been driving along the riverbank for the last several kilometres seeing who was taking advantage of these dug holes. The northern bank is continuously being cut away with each flood, but, in certain places, elephants have managed to maintain steep paths out from the riverbed.”

Agility of these huge beasts

Wolhuter was passing one such path when an elephant was about to make her way up the bank.

“I stopped to watch as I always marvel at the agility of these huge beasts. Two elephants climbed the bank 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 wasn’t aware of what was going on. The matriarch, coming from behind, gently pushed and nudged the little one up the steep ledge and on its way again.”

It looks like the baby elephant’s mother only realised later on what happened and was coming to the rescue, but her little one had already been helped.

“We all know that elephants are caring and help each other and the matriarch of the herd came to the rescue, making sure no one was left behind!”

Watch: Elephants look out for their own


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