Somewhere in the world, at this very moment, a scene like this one is playing out inside a mall, at the grocery store, or even on your own living room floor: A toddler is lying on his back, his legs are flailing around in the air, and he’s screaming for mama’s attention like there’s no tomorrow! But, as any parent can attest to, there’s nothing unusual about this “crisis.”
Except for when it takes place on the African savanna, and the 2-year-old at the center of it all isn’t actually having a temper tantrum. In this case, the frightened 400-pound baby elephant was screaming for his life!When you call Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe your home, like this mom and her elephant calf do, life moves at a very different, and sometimes precarious, pace.
If your offspring is hollering for attention, you better believe there’s a good reason for it!It all started when a poor elephant calf somehow got himself stuck upside down in the mud. Video footage of the harrowing scene shows him wiggling around on his back, desperately trying to flop over onto his side so that he could stand up. But, he more he moved, the more trapped he became!As mom busied herself trying to free the infant, his cries were heard by three hungry lions who were hovering nearby.
When they started to circle around the elephant calf, eyeballing their next meal, mom bravely charged towards them to scare them off. But, their need to feed was stronger than the fear of being stomped on by a 10,000-pound elephant protecting her young, and they stood their ground!The panicked elephant mom knew that she needed some outside help to save her baby’s life, so she bellowed out as loud as she could. Then, in the blink of an eye, the lone elephant found herself surrounded.
But, it wasn’t the lions who had closed in on her. An entire herd of miracles had come running to the rescue!Just when things seemed hopeless, another elephant family came charging in and kept the surprised lions at bay.
When the big cats realized that elephant was no longer on the dinner menu, they plopped down on the ground in frustration, knowing they’d been beat. As the larger elephants stood guard, the rest of the herd worked together to free the stuck baby.
They pushed him around with their trunks, but the water trough was narrow, which made it difficult to maneuver him back on his feet.Now that she no longer had to watch her back for fear of getting jumped by predators, mom could concentrate on saving her little one. She wrapped her trunk around the baby’s front leg to lift him up out of the trough. It was an amazing feat of strength, but she wasn’t about to give up! As soon as the infant was sitting upright, she positioned herself behind him and literally pushed him up onto his feet.