Adorable baby Elephant stuck in waterhole is rescued

Elephant

The tiny little baby found itself trapped in the man-made waterhole after quenching its thirst, and it was too small to get out on its own.

Its desperate mother tried in vain to help, but she was unable to free her baby.

Luckily, help was on hand from the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, who came to the rescue in a chopper to pull the baby to safety.

The footage was shot by Christian Heimann, from Switzerland, during a trip to Sentrim Lodge in Tsavo East, near Voi, Kenya, with his wife Celine and friend Margit Ruggieri.

Christian, 27, who works as a software developer, said: “Margit had asked the staff at the camp if there were any animals at the waterhole.

“Staff told us there was a tiny baby elephant there – when we got there we could see immediately there was a big problem.

“The baby elephant must have been too curious or thirsty and made a big step into the cement basin waterhole.

“Unfortunately, the rim was too high for the baby’s legs, and elephants can’t jump.

“At a certain age they can stand on their back legs, but this baby was too small to do this – so the cement basin turned into a trap for this animal.

“It was easily 35 degrees, and the sun was burning on the tiny little elephant – it was in danger of sunburn or sunstroke, as most of the time they are in the shade of their mothers or other members of the herd.

“The mother elephant had no teeth to help get the baby out or protect them.

“The herd had already gone, so the mother had to decide whether to stay with her baby and be lost in the wilderness or to abandon her child to keep in touch with the herd.

“The mother was very brave – she stood near the baby and tried to shovel some mud into the hole to create a step, but it didn’t help.

“Luckily Margit’s husband Trevor works for the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, so she was able to get help.

“When the helicopter arrived the mother stayed as long as possible – the nearer it got the more scared she got so she backed away, but when the helicopter left she rushed back to her baby.

“The helicopter approached five times before the men were able to get to the waterhole and rescue the baby elephant.

“During the whole scene we felt the fear of the mother elephant, and we were amazed by her strength.

“It would have been very dangerous for humans to approach her, which meant the rescue took some time. She also chased away curious waterbucks as she tried to protect her baby.

“I’ve never seen anything like this before.

“We’d been on safari for just seven days before this happened – this was a once-in-a-lifetime shot.

“After the baby was rescued, there was a happy ending when the mother and baby were reunited – Celine and Margit had tears in their eyes, it was very heartwarming to see.

“The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust team did an excellent job – as soon as they were able to get close to the baby, they rescued it within a minute.

“The waterhole had been made by humans, but animals are very happy to have easy access to water – but this incident could have been avoided by putting in a simple step made of wood or cement.

“I really hope after this they make some improvements to stop it happening again.”

 

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