This is a heartwarming moment when a herd of elephants faithfully pulled together to save a baby elephant from falling into a watering hole.
The boy dreaded sliding his foot into the hole and found himself knee-deep in the mud, and he frantically tried to climb out.
In these beautiful photos and videos, his mother can see futile attempts to pull the boy to safety before an older female comes in, kneels, and manages to push the baby away. It miraculously escaped danger with her trunk.
Photographer Richard Tustin, who has spent hours at the pit waiting for something memorable to happen, said he could hear his mother screaming in despair and see a look of horror as she tried to pull her calf arrived in safety.
He said he could also hear a trumpet of victory when the baby was saved.
The 59-year-old visited the Nxai Pan Park in Botswana with his wife Vanessa as they witnessed the extraordinary moment.
Richard, living in Australia, took the series of pictures while his wife filmed the final moments of a dramatic rescue.
“The first few frames showed the calf in the water, then the mother’s fruitless initial attempts to pull it out,” he said.
“She was screaming in despair and just looking into those eyes – pure terror. She is pretty small, and this is most likely her first child.
“After many attempts, an older woman literally rushed in and pushed her away, knelt and pushed the baby away, then a triumphant trumpet to say ‘I did it.”
“It’s so human and touching. Then they settle down and walk.
“It’s a really memorable scene and just highlights how intelligent these animals are and how social structures function.
“Fortunately, I have a camera ready and a fast shutter speed.
“It all took place for a minute, but we spent hours sitting in this particular water hole and were rewarded with some outstanding footage of the elephant’s behavior.
“The mother was by her side, and the final trumpet is terrific. It is probably quite popular but is rarely seen.
“Elephants have a solid social structure.
“Our hobby of visiting parks is sitting and observing the behavior we did for hours on our recent trip. It’s like watching a live film – seeing their interactions with each other, hierarchy between single bulls, kids interacting with other kids.
“We don’t give them enough credit for their intelligence and can learn from them.
“I break my heart when people make unusual decisions that negatively impact their lives.
“We are arrogant and stupid people and are slowly destroying the world we live in.”
“We should observe nature more and learn from experience.”
“Without people, the environment takes care of itself. We don’t always have to intervene.”