Elephants are incredibly intelligent and social animals. Most of the time they travel in herds, and if one member falls behind, they all fall behind to make sure that the individual is safe. However, this isn't always the case. When one member gets stuck, and they find nothing can be done, they choose to move on in order to keep the herd safe. That is exactly what happened to this helpless baby elephant, abandoned by his herd. But what saved this little creature will rock your minds! Keep reading to learn more of this warm-hearted tale.
This baby elephant lived with his family on the Addo Wildlife Sanctuary in Africa. It was a typical day for him like any other. The elephant herd was on the road and then stopped at a natural muddy pond to cool down and take a rest. The baby elephant began to play happily in the pool, but suddenly, he sank into the slippery banks of the pond and failed to get out. So, what would the herd do?
Though the baby elephant tried its best to free himself, it seemed that he was making no progress. Eventually, the adult elephants attempted to push the young one out of the pool, but however hard they tried, nothing worked. So, they called out to the rest of the herd to rescue the baby. With all their power combined, maybe they could save the little one. However, they failed again, and the baby elephant remained stuck. Suddenly, something else far away heard the desperate cries of the elephant herd. It was moving quickly towards the elephants. What was it?
A jeep appeared on the horizon. The herd couldn't figure out whether the people in the Jeep were friends or enemies. All they could do was to protect the baby elephant. The men in the Jeep tried to break up the herd to see what was going on, but the elephants refused to move. At the same time, something else was out there...
A group of tourists were out there and had decided to keep their distance to watch the war of attrition between the elephants and the men in the Jeep. Even though they knew it would be too dangerous to stay there, they just couldn't turn their eyes away from the tense scene. Little did they know they would play an essential role later in our story. It was then that the elephants made a life-changing decision...
Hours had passed. The youngsters in the herd were exhausted and began to flee, forcing the mature ones to make a difficult decision. Finally, they decided to abandon the baby elephant and keep on moving. As a result, the little one was left there in despair and watching the men in the Jeep moving closer and closer. But, what were their true intentions?
Fortunately, the men in the Jeep were coming to help. They were rangers at the sanctuary, and when they heard the elephants' cries, they decided to offer some help. First, they had to get the herd to abandon the baby elephant, so that they could get closer to help out. Now, they needed a detailed plan for their rescue mission. So, what was their plan?
First, they tried the simplest way, digging out the mud around the baby elephant's legs. But it didn't work. Then, they tied a rope to the little one's legs and tried to pull him out. Sadly, the baby was still too heavy to be moved. Finally, when all the men were on the verge of giving up, the baby elephant began to struggle by himself. After hours of struggling, to the men's surprise, the baby elephant had miraculously freed himself! But, then there was another problem. Where was the elephant herd?
The next mission for the rangers was to look for the herd. But, they couldn't leave the baby alone while they went off to find its family. The best way was to tie the elephant up for a second. Although they knew the baby wouldn't be happy, they believed it was the right option. However, soon, they realized something else had gone wrong.
After suffering through this traumatic experience, this had surely been the worst day of the baby elephant's life. He had almost used all his strength to break the bonds, but since he was so small and fragile, there was nothing he could do. His fate was now in the hands of those men, and he didn't trust them yet. If the baby couldn't reunite with his herd, he would have PTSD. "You have sustained psychological trauma, (but without) any of the traditional healing structures of the elephant family and culture," and "elephants and humans really share the same processes that govern emotion, cognition, and consciousness," according to trans-species psychologist Gay Bradshaw. So, the rangers needed to gain the baby elephant's trust and calm him down. But how?
After struggling for so long, the rangers realized the elephant must be dehydrated. So, one of them grabbed a washbowl and filled it with water. As soon as it was close enough to the baby elephant, he put his trunk in and began to drink. At this moment, the rangers successfully began to build trust with the baby elephant. With water at his disposal, the baby elephant was finally able to take care of himself. The rangers were happy because it was vital to make sure this baby elephant took on fluids after this stressful event. Suddenly, the baby heard a noise, and he looked around. What was that noise? Was it the herd?
To his disappointment, this sound was not from his herd. But soon, there came another sound, and that was exactly the one he had been waiting for all day! The baby began to struggle again, but before the rangers found where the herd was, it was still very dangerous to let the baby go. They had to locate the herd first. Keep reading to find out where the herd call was coming from?
Remember those tourists who were watching everything? They told the rangers that the herd was back near the watering hole where the whole story had begun. With a location in mind, the rangers decided to go along the journey with him to ensure his safety.
As soon as the baby was close enough to see his herd, the rangers set him free. And he ran toward them with excitement! For the rangers, it was just a typical day on the job, but for the baby elephant, it was a life-changing and surely now the best day of his young life.