Wildlife filmmaker Kim Wolhuter was just hoping for some authentic footage of an elephant herd climbing a steep path out of the Majale riverbed in the Mashatu Game Reserve in Botswana. Instead, she was able to capture a heartwarming video of a stranded baby elephant being helped up a cliff by the herd’s matriarch.
Wolhuter says that while the Majale River only flows for a few months of the year, there is plenty of water to be found under the ground. Aware of this, the area’s pachyderms frequently visit the dry riverbed to dig up the water and quench their thirst. They also maintain the steep paths along the riverbanks.
In late August, Wolhuter was searching the area in the hopes of seeing the elephants in action. She had just driven a few kilometers along the riverbank when she noticed an elephant making its way up.
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Things went smoothly at first. Two team members effortlessly scaled the hill and disappeared. The rest of the family, led by a female elephant, followed closely behind. They were doing well until the baby elephant got stuck on the slope’s steepest part.
Unaware of its distress, the mother continued to forge ahead. Fortunately, the herd’s leader had stayed behind to ensure everyone made it up safely. She was able to gently nudge the helpless baby elephant up the tricky terrain.
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