Baby elephant struggling on muddy river bank is saved from drowning when its mother comes to the rescue

They say that an elephant’s familial ties can be stronger than that of humanity’s closest.

And this bond between this baby elephant and its loved ones probably saved the boy’s life when his family rallied to save him from drowning on a muddy riverbank.

A touching set of photos taken in the Sabah region of Borneo shows the calf having difficulty trying to climb the slope after crossing the Kinabatangan River with his mother.

Family affair: The elephant clings closely to his relatives after they came to his aid when he got stuck on a muddy river bank
Mother’s love: The elephant had got stuck on the muddy bank after swimming across the river with his mother. He she is pictured helping him out of the water
Slippery: While the adult elephant has no problems getting to grips with the mud, the baby struggles to get a grip without falling over
Stuck: The mother tries to push the baby up the bank using her trunk, but is unable to get him to safety

When the boy was suffering, his mother tried to help him by using her trunk to push him to the bank.

But this mission is too difficult for her.

Given the animals’ traditional close family ties, it is not surprising that two relatives came to the rescue.

The couple tried to flatten the mud around the calf, making it easy for him to climb to a safe position.

Once the calf is safe, groups of adults will gather around him as he clings to his mother’s feet in a lovely show of solidarity.

Beniot Goossens, a photographer of the Danau Girang Field Center in Sabah, said it took all three adults about half an hour to get the baby on the road again.

Not moving: The distressed elephant is unable to make it to the safety of the trees and is seen slipping
Helping hand: The elephant has nearly made it to the top of the bank thanks to a little help from his mother
Distressed: But the poor baby elephant slips in the mud once again

He said: ‘We have crossed the river, but the bank is too steep for the calf.

‘The mother tried to push it away, but she couldn’t handle the so-called two family members on her own.

‘While the mother pushes, others flatten the mud to make the calf more accessible. About half an hour later, they were on their way.’

Benoit describes this spectacle as ’emotional’.

He added: ‘I have been studying elephants for many years, but some of the students I attend have been blown away by the elephant’s behavior.

‘It shows that animals generally take better care of each other than humans do.’

Elephants are known to live in close matriarchal families with adult females taking care of sick, injured, or orphaned offspring.

Like human babies, calves stay with their mothers until they reach adolescence, with some female elephants known to stay with their parents for life.

Elephants usually give birth to one calf every two to four years, with their offspring weighing about 200lbs at birth and 3ft tall. In the end, they grow to 9.8ft tall and consume 270kg of food per day.

Close bond: Another two elephants emerge from the trees to give mother and baby some help
Cavalry: The elephants clear a path for the baby, flattening the boggy mud to ensure its safe passage to the trees
Safe at last: Covered in mud, the little elephant is ushered into the trees by his mother

Asian elephants have been domesticated for thousands of years. Powerful beasts have been used to move heavy objects, such as felled trees, carry people on their backs, and even wage war.

Wild Baby Elephants with relaxing music

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