HelpingContext: Calf Reassurance & Protection (5)
Note: In this long clip circles have been added to show the location of the male twin or specific Helping - Lifting, Pulling, Digging - behaviors by Angelina or the two allomothers, Arora B and Amora. Angelina has twins a couple of days old. The rest of the family has crossed Enkongo Narok Swamp. Angelina rejected three different crossing points and chose this one. As they are crossing Arora B (a 10 year old female with skewed tusks who is Angelina's sister and aunt to the twins) comes from the other side to help and we see just how deep and sticky the mud is. As they are trying to cross the male twin gets stuck. Amora, Angelina's 9 year old daughter, notices and tries to help him. We can hear soft Husky-Cris from him in distress. Angelina becomes aware that there is a problem and goes to Help first Lifting and then Pulling the infant toward her. We see first its head and then its tail in the melee.
Meanwhile, the female twin is trying to follow her mother and is climbing up the bank where the male twin is stuck. There are several Alarmed-Trumpets as the allomothers, Arora B and Amora and other younger juvenile females panic. There is some Ear-Folding and Pushing as the helpers seem to disagree how to Help and are crowding around the infant. Another adult female, Ambra (half-tail), who is also Angelina's younger sister, arrives to help.
The female twin is struggling to climb the bank and gives two Husky-Cries. Angelina turns and Pulls her down off the bank with a splash and leads her away from trouble. The others continue to give Alarm-Trumpets while Angelina escorts the female twin out of the muddy stream. Angelina succeeded in moving the male twin out of the deepest part of the mud, but not far enough and we see him briefly upside-down, his legs in the air, before Amora appears to climb on top of him in her attempt to Help. There is more Alarm-Trumpeting and then a bit of calm as most begin Drinking. All except Arora B and Amora then begin to leave the stream. The two discover that the male twin is still stuck and they give more Alarmed-Trumpets and begin Digging in the mud with their tusks. The older allomother, Arora B, Tusks Amora out of the way, as if she is not satisfied with her Helping technique. Again Arora B Ear-Folds and Tusks her and then takes her position.
The two allomothers separate a bit and we catch a glimpse of the male twin - head Submerged and a brief kick with a leg and then he appears to be limp. You can hear Joyce let out a despairing sigh. Arora B Pirouettes and both carry their ears high in alarm as they face the infant. Arora B uses her foot to try to Lift the infant but ends up flipping him instead. Joyce sound as though she is hyperventilating as the infant seems close to death.
As the two girls appear to flail about trying their best, but not really having the experience to know how to solve the problem, in the car we are close to despair. Their Digging has dislodged the infant who seems to be close to limp. As he floats past them Arora B she can be seen trying to lift him by a leg and we see his trunk momentarily. As the infant continues to float down the stream we see Amora bend down, face almost underwater and grasp the infant's and Lift him up. She tries twice but doesn't seem to get a grip. Then, Arora B steps forward. She bends down and this time grasps a foreleg, Lifting him up again. But neither one seems to have the strength or skill to complete the task. Then they stand facing downstream, Arora B with the infant at her forelegs where she Lifts the infant's trunk up out of the water 5 times as if she understand that it must have it up to breathe.
Finally, with the infant free of mud and upright in the water, Arora B and Amora Shepherd him to a safe place where Angelina and the others are Waiting. Abra helps them get the infant up the muddy bank and we can see Amora using her head and trunk to Lift and Push him up. As they try to get him up the muddy bank there is another Alarm-Trumpet by Arora B.
The entire saga lasted 9 minutes but seemed like an eternity. The footage has been shortened. It was very difficult to see what was happening at the time and you can hear in our comments on the clip that we are in despair at Angelina walking off and leaving the twin to the inexperienced allomothers. And, yet, once we studied the footage we are able to see that 1
. Under the circumstances Angelina could not take care of both twins at the same time, as helping one put the other in danger
. The two allomothers, though lacking in experience, did the right thing and were able to save the infant's life
. Crossing the swamp is extremely dangerous. Angelina was aware of this and, before crossing, rejected three other locations
. (Amboseli, Kenya)