“Mom, save me”: Mother elephant wholeheartedly saved her baby from the mud after wading knee-deep into the mire.

“Mom, save me”: Mother elephant wholeheartedly saved her baby from the mud after wading knee-deep into the mire.

They say an elephant never forgets… and this month-old calf is unlikely to need reminding not to stray out of his depth near a perilous watering hole.

The hapless young male needed a helping hand from his concerned mother to escape the sticky mud after wading knee deep into the quagmire.

She swiftly, if not elegantly, plucked the inexperienced baby to safety by his tail.


Struggle: The protective mother elephant rushed to the rescue after seeing her calve sinking perilously deep into the watering hole

He had been marching with his family herd in Cabarceno Wildlife Park, in Cantabria, Spain, when the drama unfolded.

His mother and five-month old cousin went first and successfully walked across the bank of the watering hole.

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But the baby was unable to climb up the mud and his protective mum crouched down before she hoisted him up by his trunk.

Photographer Marina Cano, from Cantabria, captured the rescue on camera.

She said: ‘I live close to the park and went there because it is the best place to take photos of African elephants outside of Africa.

‘It is a huge terrain where they bathe and eat grass in the afternoon.

‘I saw the older baby elephant and the mother cross the watering hole with no problems.

‘But the younger one started to slither because of the mud. His mum saw it in seconds and helped him before he fell deeper into the water and what would have been a much more difficult situation.

Heave: The hapless baby elephant is hauled out of the sticky mud by his tail as fascinated visitors to Cabarceno Wildlife Park, in Cantabria, Spain, watch the drama unfolded

Relief: The month-old calve is plucked to safety after he was spotted getting out of his depth in a watering hole

‘She crouched in the mud and picked him up with her trunk. It was amazing to see.

‘Once the baby was safe, she stopped for a little while and then they went on their way.

‘It happened so quickly that I didn’t have time to think. I’m sure if she couldn’t have rescued him by herself then the other elephants would have helped.

‘I never thought the baby might die, because I knew the herd were there and wise enough to save their newborn.

‘I was amazed and happy to be there to take the pictures and capture the amazing moment.

‘It was magical to see what seemed like human behaviour – a mother helping her baby. It was breathtaking and I felt honoured.’

Keeping a watchful eye: The calve grapples for a more secure footing as his concerned mother keeps a wary eye on him

Safe at last: After the rescue, the mother keeps the hapless calve a safe distance from the muddy trap to prevent him repeating his mistake

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