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Video Moment: Three Baby Elephants Are Carried Away Downstream From Their Mothers as Elephant Family Struggles Against Strong River Current in Africa

Elephant family, including three babies and their mothers, hold steady against the river’s current until one baby elephant is swept away

A Save the Elephants team stands by…


Narrator: “…If they become separated, they could easily drown.”

(elephants rumble)

Man, Save the Elephants: (pointing from banks of river downstream)

‘Oh my God! One is gone!’

(baby elephant squealing as it struggles against the river’s current)

Narrator: “The mothers try in vain but they cannot contain all three. As they save one, another washes away.”

Man, Save the Elephants: ‘Oh, God! They are still going and the baby is gone.’

Narrator: “Soon all three are being swept downstream fast, through the crocodile-infested waters.”

(crocodile clearly visible with its head above the water, lying in wait)

Narrator: “The current is even too much for the mothers. They have to let their babies go.”

(the three female elephants rumble and they climb back upon the banks of the river as their three calves, squealing loudly now, are taken away)

Narrator: “David cannot see how they can possibly survive.”

(the baby elephants are barely able to keep their heads above the water, succumbing to the water, at times, while periscoping their little trunks in the air)





Save the Elephants Team: ‘Oh man this is no good. Let’s go. Let’s go. Let’s go.’

(Save the Elephants jeep takes to the dirt road)

Man, Save the Elephants: ‘You can hear the poor females. Okay, Apo. No, no, no. Right, right. All the big females are running. Oh, God. Okay, one baby is out.’

(mama elephants are trumpeting and rumbling)

2nd Man, Save the Elephants:  ‘Man, the other one is here. The other one is here. Wow!  There are two babies actually here. Wow, they are really tough.’

(the two baby elephants are struggling to climb up the muddy banks of the river)

Man, Save the Elephants: ‘Come on big females, come in. Oh, please do not move. Oh, they are coming down. The females are coming down.’

(the three mamas, one saved baby and a juvenile elephant come running down the dirt road to where the two other babies, still in the river, are found)

Man, Save the Elephants: ‘I hope they will save them because they will get tired and if a croc grabs them, that is it.’

(the mother elephants, on the slippery banks of the river, stretch their trunks out as they try to grab their babies)

Narrator: “The poor mothers just do not know what to do. They have no way of lifting them out and David cannot even help.”




Man, Save the Elephants : ‘Oh, come on females; get in and save the babies!’

(elephants trumpeting)

Narrator: “The riverbank is sheer and the babies are weak and terrified.”

(elephants rumbling and trumpeting)

(with the encouragement of their mothers, the baby elephants finally make it up the banks of the muddy slope unassisted)

Man, Save the Elephants : ‘Oh, man that is so relieving.’

(elephants rumbling)

Man, Save the Elephants :  ‘It is so joyful to see all of them again coming back together.’

(elephant family huddled together around the rescued babies)




Save the Elephants is a wonderful elephant charity.  Please consider making a donation to Save the Elephants.

Remember elephants today… not tomorrow.”

Images and transcribed from Creative Commons video: Baby Elephants Swept Away from Mother in the River | BBC Earth



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