Heartwarming footage has captured the moment a baby elephant was helped up a steep riverbank by the herd’s matriarch after getting stuck at the bottom.
The scene was captured by film maker Kim Wolhuter, 62, who was visiting the Mashatu Game Reserve in Botswana.
He spotted the distressed baby elephant trying to follow its mother up the bank of the Majale River and began filming the scene.
Wildlife film maker Kim Wolhuter filmed a herd of elephants crossing the Majale river in the Mashatu Game Reserve in Botswana when the youngest pachyderm got into difficulty
The baby elephant was unable to negotiate the steep riverbank along with the older members of the herd but the matriarch soon spotted the problem and pushed the youngster along
The elephant’s mother, right, assumed the baby was following close behind her
Footage shows the huge animals folding their front legs and pushing themselves up with their rear limbs as they clamber up out of the sandy riverbed.
But the tiny calf is not strong enough to get any traction until the matriarch elephant, bringing up the rear, gives it a nudge with her trunk.
Mr Wolhuter told Latestsightings.com: ‘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.
‘I was passing one such path when I saw an elephant 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.
‘Its mom only later realised 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!’
The calf had got stuck on the steep ledge and was battling away, said Mr Wolhuter
But the young elephant was soon reunited with its mother at the top of the river bank