This was the incredible moment when a newborn elephant in need appeared out of nowhere while a group of truck drivers traveled through Botswana.
The baby elephant appeared to be pleading for aid to the drivers from the AfriAg transport firm in Johannesburg, South Africa, who had stopped due to a downed bridge in their way.
The men cautiously walked up to the little elephant. She seemed to be thirsty as they got nearer, so they gave her one of their water bottles for her to sip from.
Both the baby’s mother and his herd were nowhere to be seen, despite the men’s efforts to find her.
The roughly 3-week-old elephant needed more than just a drink of water, and the truck drivers soon realized it.
After fixing the bridge, they placed her into their truck and delivered her to Elephant Sands, a neighboring sanctuary, where they left her in good hands.
Here’s that encounter caught on video:
And for a baby like her, Botswana is a terrific place to be. Paul Oxton, founder and head of the Wild Heart Animal Foundation, told The Dodo that “In our opinion, Botswana as a whole has one of the most remarkable, ethical, and compassionate wildlife conservation strategies in the world.”
In fact, the nation is a role model for other nations because it has outlawed elephant riding and made significant conservation efforts to protect elephants and their habitat.
“Because of the efficacy of the nationwide strategy, we trust that this baby will get the very best treatment and care possible,” Oxton explained.
The infant is in wonderful hands, despite losing her mother at a young age, but she still has a long way to go.
“Baby elephants are notoriously fragile,” Oxton said. “Even if she’s treated very well and appears to be strong at first, it might still be a long road before it can be claimed that she has fully recovered.”
Every elephant matters for the species’ continued existence since elephant populations have fallen drastically in recent years due to habitat destruction and ivory poaching.
You can also help by donating to the Water for Elephants Trust here to aid in the preservation of additional newborn elephants in Botswana.
Update: Chantelle Beyleveld, a friend of the rescuers who posted the video and pictures of the rescue on Facebook, wrote to The Dodo that the elephant is now at Elephants without Borders and “doing really well.”
“Carlos, one of the drivers who helped, told me that she was so thirsty that she drank nearly 30 liters of water … My reason for posting [the photos and video] was to show the people that truckers also have a heart and will go out of their way to help.”