Baby elephant collapses in middle of the road. Now watch the entire herd help save her

It isn’t just us humans who rely on family and social bonds. There are all sorts of animals that build complex little societies. Elephants are one of the most remarkable examples.

A “matriarch,” usually the eldest female is the cornerstone of tight-knit elephantine family groups. These are extended families composed of females and calves; when the male elephants grow up, they leave the group and either live on their own or find a group of other males to socialize with. Another layer of elephant society comes from a “fission-fusion” process where different family groups get together and socialize, with family groups coming and going. A special short-term elephant organization is the “clan.” This involves a number of families banding together for some specific purpose like defending a grazing area during lean times.

A couple sure signs of how intelligent and sophisticated elephants’ minds are their possession of self-awareness and also empathy for other elephants. For instance, it’s known that they experience actual grief when a member of their group is dying or has died. Elephants also look out for each other: when a family group is on the move, it will form a kind of convoy surrounding and protecting the calves.

We’ve posted a video for you below that dramatically illustrates how elephants will help other elephants. This herd was on the march when a calf collapsed in the middle of the road. She was probably just exhausted. But needless to say, the middle of a road isn’t a great place for resting up and the other elephants are well-aware of this. So several of them gathered around and gave her some gentle nudges, hoping to encourage her to get up. An adult and a younger elephant stay to keep at it and after some more prodding, the calf was helped up and escorted to safety.

Does this give you a new sense of respect for these amazing creatures? Let us know in the Facebook comments and be sure to like and share!