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Video Moment : Exhausted Baby Elephant Struggles To Survive The Long Walk Home BBC Earth Part 4

“A baby elephant in danger struggles to keep up with his mother as a human lends a helping hand. The future of elephants is in our hands.” Watch as a baby elephant, in imminent danger of succumbing to over exertion and a lack of food and water, gets encouragement from Mike to follow his mama as she patiently waits for her baby. The following is transcribed from Exhausted Baby Elephant Struggles To Survive | The Long Walk Home | BBC Earth.

Mike:

(herds of elephants on their trek across the plains, rumbling loudly as they are scurrying along)

“Before sunrise every day I watch thousands of elephants, mostly Matriarchs and their families running across these barren plains. Clearly they were highly stressed.”

(sounds of humans shouting at the elephants as they hurried across the land, trumpeting nervously along the way. Two gunshots ring out driving the elephants along at an even faster pace.)

“These floodplains are an international boundary and just beyond that there are many small farms close enough for me to hear shouts and gunshots as farmers drove the elephants back across the border to Botswana.”

Narrator:

“Why were these elephants running back and forth, night after night? Were they trying to raid crops? Why would they put themselves through so much stress?”

(close up of baby elephant running along with his herd then camera focuses on Mike sitting at a distance observing the elephants through his field glasses)

“Mike realizes then that Bontle and Max and the vast network of elephant pathways he has seen from the air are giving him the answers.”

Desperate to follow an ancient migration path to distant food and water these elephants are simply trying to get beyond the farms using an age-old route deeply ingrained in their memory which is now blocked by expanding human settlement. This barrier is every bit as threatening to their survival as the fences.”

(a lone baby elephant is shown lagging far behind his elephant family & at this same time mama elephant is shown while an all terrain vehicle approaches the scene)

“There are always consequences for elephants in such an unnatural situation. Their daily trek across and back is taking its toll. Females are stressed. Those with calves have little milk.”

(Mike stands on top of his Jeep observing the situation while the baby elephant comes to a standstill & mama elephant starts walking away)

“And it is completely exhausting for young calves. Once the little ones stop moving their fate is sealed. Some are just too weak to go on.

(Mike is now walking toward the weakened calf who remains at a standstill as he approaches)

 

Image: CC Flickr by Marthade Jong Lantink similar Baby African elephant

 

Mike:

I very rarely intervene but on this occasion the crisis had clearly been caused by man.

(Mike comes within a few feet of the weakened calf raising his hands, even clapping, while shooing him on towards his mama. Driver brings Jeep up close to both Mike and baby elephant in an effort to steer the calf in the right direction. Baby elephant finally heads off towards mama.)

“If I could just get this little elephant moving again, get him to catch up with his mom who stood nervously waiting for him perhaps he could make it to the shade and security of the Botswana side.”

Narrator:

“Incidents like this are a stark reminder that the future of elephants is in our hands.”
(Wide camera angle of baby elephant catching up to his mama)

 

Watch BBC Earth YouTube video: “Exhausted Baby Elephant Struggles To Survive…”

See also: Video Moment : Bull Elephant Reveals an Ancient Migration Path The Long Walk Home BBC Earth Part 5

 

Image: Image CC Flickr by Marthade Jong Lantink similar Baby African elephant

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