It's a sight you can barely stand to watch: a baby elephant, covered in mud, trapped in a muddy marsh, struggling to escape before he runs out of strength. His mother is nowhere to be found, so he is on his own and, from the looks of things, he's not going to manage this feat without help.
But who can help a creature that already weighed over 200 pounds at birth and is certainly quite a bit larger than that now? Not even a dozen of the strongest men would be able to change the course of this poor pachyderm's fate.
He is so covered in mud that getting a firm grip on him would be next to impossible. On top of that, his state of panic would cause him to lash out in fear and likely cause serious harm to anyone who gets near enough to even try to help.
A crowd has gathered and it's obvious the people are concerned. It's evident that they are discussing possible approaches to free this mammoth from the muddy marsh. But, alas, no one seems to have any ideas that would work.
As they talk, the "little" guy is thrashing and kicking for his life, but his efforts seem to only entrench himself more deeply into in the muck and mire. You have to admire his pluck, though. After each brief rest, when you fear the worst because he isn't moving, he rises once more to try again.
Just when it seems he's figured it out and might be able to climb out, he loses his footing once again and tumbles back into his muddy tomb.
As the hours tick by, the anxious animal appears to be completely sapped of his strength. His movements become weaker, and his rest periods last longer. This poor guy isn't long for this world if something miraculous doesn't happen - and soon!
The helpless bystanders are frustrated by their powerlessness and continue to wrestle with the possibilities for this baby pachyderm, no matter how remote the chances may seem.
Then, when all seems lost, one brilliant hero gets an idea that changes everything. The video cuts away. When it returns the footage reveals a most welcome - and unexpected - sight:
A bright yellow excavator that is now planted firmly at the far end of the swamp, its determined operator keen on finishing the job the poor elephant could not do on his own.
At first, the viewer might conclude that the heavy equipment will be used to dig a pathway on which the baby could easily amble his way out of the pit. But that's not at ALL what is about to happen!
Instead, the bucket of the monster machine scoops up the baby elephant and pulls him to the edge of the swamp. Then, in a flash, he is able to hoist the agitated animal clean out of the hole.
Once the fellow is safe, he makes his way to this brightly-colored savior, perhaps to express his gratitude? Not taking any chances, the excavator operator flees from the cab of the vehicle in case the pachyderm has more nefarious notions on his mind.
We'll never know for sure what his intent is because after a brief moment he does an abrupt about-face and lumbers away to the relieved cheers of the crowd. He's seen enough of this field to last a lifetime!
Goodbye, "little fellow." We hope you are able to find your way back to your herd and your momma. And what a story you'll have to tell when you get there! They'll never believe it!!
Thank goodness the story turned out the right way and that there was at least one Good Samaritan who had the presence of mind to think up this brilliant solution to the desperate baby elephant's conundrum.
To see the entire remarkable rescue, watch the video, below.