Heartwarming Rescue: Mother and Family Save Baby Elephant from Drowning in Muddy River

A baby elephant’s life was saved from a potential tragedy when its relatives came to its rescue on a muddy river bank. The heartwarming incident occurred in the Sabah region of Borneo and was captured in a series of touching pictures.

The young elephant calf was crossing the river Kinabatangan with its mother when it encountered trouble trying to climb the steep and slippery river bank.

Image 429
The elephant clings closely to his relatives after they come to his aid when he gets stuck on a muddy riverbank

Distressed and struggling to ascend, the calf’s mother attempted to aid it by using her trunk to push it up the bank. However, the task proved too difficult for her to accomplish alone.


Two other family members quickly assisted in a beautiful demonstration of elephants’ close family bonds.

Image 430
The elephant had got stuck on the muddy bank after swimming across the river with his mother. She is pictured helping him out of the water.

They skillfully flattened the mud around the calf, making it easier for the little one to climb to safety. With their joint efforts, the calf was eventually brought to safety, surrounded by the adult group in a heartwarming show of unity.

Wildlife photographer Benoit Goossens, who captured the moment at the Danau Girang Field Centre in Sabah, described the scene as “emotional.”


It took approximately half an hour for all three adults to ensure the baby elephant was safe and on its way again.

Image 431
While the adult elephant has no problems getting to grips with the mud, the baby struggles to get a hold without falling over

Elephants are well-known for their tight-knit matriarchal family structures, with adult females caring for sick, injured, or orphaned offspring.

Calves stay with their mothers until they reach their teenage years, and some female elephants even remain with their parents throughout their lives.


These gentle giants have a slow reproduction rate, giving birth to one calf every two to four years. When born, the calves weigh around 200 pounds and stand about 3 feet tall.

Image 432
The mother tries to push the baby up the bank using her trunk but is unable to get him to safety

As they grow, they can reach heights of up to 9.8 feet and consume an astounding 270 kilograms of food each day.

Throughout history, Asian elephants have been domesticated for various purposes, including moving heavy objects like felled trees, carrying humans on their backs, and even being used in warfare.


The touching rescue of this baby elephant serves as a reminder of the deep emotional connections and care within the animal kingdom, often demonstrating a sense of compassion and support that can rival even the closest human relationships.

Image 433
The distressed elephant is unable to make it to the safety of the trees and is seen slipping
Image 434
The elephant has nearly made it to the top of the bank thanks to a bit of help from his mother
Image 435
But the poor baby elephant slips in the mud once again
Image 436
Another two elephants emerge from the trees to give mother and baby some help
Image 437
The elephants clear a path for the baby, flattening the boggy mud to ensure its safe passage to the trees
Image 438
Covered in mud, the little elephant is ushered into the trees by his mother

Read more Elephant News.