Believe it or not, elephants are extremely social creatures and are quick to help each other out. But you don't have to take our word for it. This video filmed by tourists makes it very clear.
The footage will make your heart melt. In South Africa, tourists filmed a scene that has already pulled on a lot of heartstrings. It shows a mother trying to rescue her little one, who's trapped in a hole filled with mud. Despite several attempts, she's unable to get her baby out of there.
So, other members of the herd come to the rescue. In just a few minutes, they manage to get the baby elephant out. The cub then joins its mother under tourists watchful -- and likely tearful -- eyes.
Solidarity between elephants
Regardless of whether they're from Africa or Asia, elephants are very social animals. Many scientific studies have looked into pachyderms' behaviour. In 2014, one such study noted something very surprising in Asian elephants: when under stress or fear, the members of a herd often cuddle. As we've already observed in humans, hugs carry very strong soothing powers in elephants.
According to famous Dutch ethologist Frans de Waal:
With their strong social bonds, it's not surprising that elephants show concern for others. This study demonstrates that elephants get distressed when they see others in distress, reaching out to calm them down, not unlike the way chimpanzees or humans embrace someone who is upset.
Furthermore, elephants have very strong feelings for their loved ones. There've been many known instances of a mother losing her baby being inconsolable and mourning the loss for days.