The footage is adorable. In South Africa, tourists captured a sequence that will melt more than one heart. A mother can be seen trying to rescue her baby from a hole filled with mud. Despite several attempts, the female does not manage to get her baby out.
The herd then comes together in solidarity; other elephants come to help the mother and her baby. A few minutes are enough to get the elephant out, who joined the mother before the eyes of the tourists.
Solidarity between elephants
Whether African or Asian, the elephant is a decidedly social animal. Numerous scientific studies have examined the behaviour of pachyderms. In 2014 in particular, a publication noted a surprising behaviour among Asian elephants. In the case of stress or fear, members of a group do not hesitate to cuddle! Just like in humans, a hug has a strong soothing power.
‘With their very strong social connections, it is not surprising that elephants are worried about others,’ says the famous Dutch ethologist Frans de Waal. ‘These actions show that elephants are shaken when they see others who are disrupted. They then go to them to calm them, which is no different from the way chimpanzees and humans embrace those who are upset.’
In addition, elephants have very strong feelings for their loved ones. It is not uncommon that when a mother loses her baby, she remains inconsolable and mourns the passing for days.