At Seoul Grand Park Zoo, an incident reminded us that animal family bonds are much like our own when an Elephant calf falls into a pool.
The video recording didn’t capture sound however the visual brought the urgency of the situation across. Chaos erupts as a baby Asian Elephant slips into the deep end of a pool after trying to drink water.
Source: YouTube/Inside Edition
Rushing to the edge of the pool, two older females try to reach the baby to no avail. The older female Asian Elephants change tactic and run to the shallow slip in, where they approach the baby through the water, surrounding and supporting it against the edge of the pool towards the shallow end until it can stand and get out by itself. Another female was seen pacing up and down in the background.
Source: YouTube/ Inside Edition
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The video footage was shown to Caitlin O’Connell-Rodwell, adjunct professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine, also a prominent expert on elephant family structures and authored six nonfiction books about elephants Caitlin replied from Etosha National Park in Namibia where she is doing fieldwork.
Commenting on various key points during the video that for one, elephant babies can not swim until they are several months old, and having got a fright after plunging into the deep end the baby elephant did what all babies do, scream out in alarm. Older females responded quickly, when a baby elephant screams, its mother, sisters, and other adult females rush to the rescue.
The young elephant in the pen in running back and forth in the background Caitlin assumes is distraught about the calf in trouble. The female that came running from afar is likely the matriarch of the small group and agitated. She also thinks there would have been a lot of vocalizations.
Another example showing the strong bonds Elephants share took place during a safari in Chobe National Park, Botswana. In 2017, a group of tourists came across an elephant cow giving birth. An amazing scene as they watch the new baby join this world, the new mother gives a trumpet, and the heard comes rushing, forming a protective circle around mom and the new baby.
Displays of protection and help are not uncommon in the animal kingdom also showed by Smokey the dog. Laurie Sorsen Becerra from Mesa, Arizona posted video footage taken by their surveillance camera. Laurie’s dog Smokey had a canine friend over for a playdate, these two were playing outside around the pool while the woman was inside. The women notice the drenched dogs and they decide to play back the surveillance camera footage to see what transpired. What they found was heartwarming, Smokey saves his dog friend from drowning in the pool.