Elephants are extraordinarily smart. Previous studies and experiments have demonstrated that the largest land mammal is capable of using insight to solve problems, and this recently released footage of two adult elephants saving a calf is just another example of intelligent they are.
Security footage shows three elephants standing around a pool in an enclosure at Seoul Grand Park in Seoul, South Korea and captures the moment the baby elephant accidentally slips into the water.
As soon as the calf splashes into the water, one elephant looks as though he panics while another runs from the opposite side of the pool to offer assistance. You can tell they contemplate, even if just for a moment, how they are going to get the little guy out of the water as the calf starts to drift to the middle of the pool.
The elephants run around the side of the pool, where it appears as though a ramp leads into the pool, and frantically make their way to the baby elephant, just as its head goes underwater.
Eventually the two adult elephants are able to pull the calf’s head above the water and guide him towards the shallow water.
This isn’t the first time an adult elephant saving a calf from drowning has been caught on camera. In the video below, a woman on a safari through Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya, captured incredible footage of another water rescue.
The herd of elephants was attempting to cross the swift-flowing Ewaso Nyiro River when the current started to push a calf downstream. Almost immediately, one of the elephants rushes towards the calf and pushes it towards the river bank. Another elephant sees the struggle to bring the calf to safety and joins the effort.
Researchers call this situation—elephants reacting to a stressful situation and then helping another—emotional contagion. Scientists found in their research of elephants at a nature park in Thailand that elephants are capable of realizing what is and isn’t a stressor.
They also discovered that if an elephant wasn’t directly affected by the stressor they would move in and either comfort or help out the creature experiencing the stressful situation.