Mama bear rescues cub from highway, mama elephant rescues calf from river

May 23, 2014 • 1:49 pm

Ah,the power of kin selection! Here are two heartwarmers to end this week on a high note and to rinse our mouths of Chopra.

From CBC News

. . . tornado hunter Ricky Forbes was driving through Kootenay National Park when he spotted a black bear cub sitting dangerously close to the highway.

According to the Telegraph, Forbes stopped to film the cub, when suddenly the mother popped up from behind the concrete barrier at the side of the road and hauled the cub to safety.

In the video, the mother bear looks both ways at the traffic before gently lifting the cub with her jaws, all while a second cub watches from the top of the barrier before the bears disappear into the forest.


And, from Africa, another rescue. The YouTube notes give details:

Incredible footage by Kicheche Laikipia guest Sandy Gelderman filmed on one of her safari’s in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy. Kicheche silver guide Onesmus Lesiata, spotted the herd approaching the rain-swollen Ewaso Nyiro river. With the river deep, mountain high banks are never easy for adults, let alone a six month old calf, so being washed away in the current was a very real possibility. Thankfully mum and her emergency swat team enacted a remarkable rescue. They say elephants can remember, well this little calf will remember this advanced swimming lesson for the rest of its life, as will Sandy.


h/t: Jim E.., P.

13 thoughts on “Mama bear rescues cub from highway, mama elephant rescues calf from river

  1. A couple of years ago we were on our way to hike at a place called Bugaboo in SE British Columbia and travelling down a very bumpy road when 2 cubs came out in front of our car. Before we could even get our camera out, Mama Bear darted out from the trees and growled at us. She stood right in front of the car and gave it to us!

    When we got to the parking lot in Bugaboo, all the cars had chicken wire around them up to about 4 feet, anchored with wooded stakes. There was extra chicken wire and stakes available, plus a sign saying please roll up the chicken wire neatly, but NO indication of what the hell it was for! A couple of days later, after asking several rangers in other parks, one young female ranger told us that it was to keep porcupines from chewing brake wires. Who knew??

  2. Jerry,

    the matriarch comes to the rescue, and jointly with the other brings the baby elephant to dry land.

    Is this evidence of joint intentionality (division of labor), which Tomasello reserves for humans?


    1. Yes, the cooperation between the two adult elephants was amazing. They put the baby between their bodies so that one blocked the current and the other kept the baby from being swept downwards.
      I don’t know how much conscious decision entered into their tag team work, but they did waht worked.

    1. I guess young elephants have to learn to swim, just like humans, and of course they can be overcome by a swift current like that, but elephants swim very well.

      I can’t remember many details off hand, but there is a place where elephants were found to be swimming back and forth for some distance in the sea from the mainland out to an Island. Nowadays there are lots of known swimming elephants.

      Here is a short video of anAsian Elephant Swimming in the Sea

      And for a chuckle here is a clip of Ricky Gervais Joking About Swimming Elephants.

  3. That elephant video was fantastic. I’m impressed by how clam and collected they seemed. Apart from, what appearred to be, calling the mother over there was very little noise or commotion. They just got together and dealt with it.

  4. That elephant rescue was sweet, but why didn’t the mother just pick up and carry the baby across the river? Are elephant trunks not strong enough to do that?

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