This stunning series of photos shows an adorable baby elephant being helped by his mother after getting stuck in a watering hole.
The incident took place on the Chobe River, Botswana, and was captured by Neal Cooper, 50, a professional photographer from South Africa. This series of stunning photos show an adorable elephant calf being given a helping hand from mum after getting stuck in a watering hole.
The calf appeared to be having an incredible time frolicking in the water, but he quarreled to get back into dry land when playtime was over. He tried to get up, and get out of the watering hole but was still unsuccessful, having to rely on the help of his mother elephant.
The baby’s mother came to the rescue, wrapping her trunk around the boy’s body and lifting him out of the pool before gently kicking his back to help him scramble up the bank. The baby elephant was only a few weeks old, and so the mother needs to keep an eye on him to make sure he wasn’t in any danger.
Mr. Cooper said: ‘It looked like the mother was teaching the calf how to use mud to stay cool in the heat, but also how to get out when it’s stuck. The river is always a great place to visit and photograph wild elephants because you can witness the different family units and how they interact with other ones as well as with their own.’
Elephants are expressive creatures. They display joy, anger, grief, compassion and love. But a mother’s love for her calf is the strongest emotion of all. Elephant mothers carry their babies for almost two years before giving birth. Mother and child remain in constant touch, the calf never straying more than a trunk’s length from its mother, while she gently steers it by grasping its tail with her trunk.
The mother carries her calf over obstacles, rescues it from mishaps, and uses her own body to protect it from attack: even from the hot sun. She bathes it using her trunk, both to spray water over it and to gently scrub it clean. Protector and nurturer, the mother is also the calf’s teacher. From her it will learn where to find water, what to eat, and how to avoid its only predator . It’s a lot to learn for a small elephant, which for the first six years of its life will only taste solid food in its mother’s mouth, and receive sustenance only from her milk. And to ensure her calf gets exactly the right nutrients, an elephant mother’s milk changes four times during the weaning process.
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