This devoted mother elephant rescued her trapped baby from a watering hole after he became stuck in the mud.

The loving mum hauled her son up the side of the slippery bank using her trunk as he struggled to get back up.

The month-old calve had been marching with his family herd in Cabarceno Wildlife Park, in Cantabria, Spain, when the drama unfolded.

His mother and five-month old cousin went first and successfully walked across the bank of the watering hole.

But the baby was unable to climb up the mud and his protective mum had to help hoist him up by his trunk.

Photographer Marina Cano captured the moment on camera.

She said: "I live close to the park and went there because it is the best place to take photos of African elephants outside of Africa.

"It is a huge terrain where they bathe and eat grass in the afternoon.

"I saw the older baby elephant and the mother cross the watering hole with no problems.

"But the younger one started to slither because of the mud. His mum saw it in seconds and helped him before he fell deeper into the water and what would have been a much more difficult situation.

"She crouched in the mud and picked him up with her trunk. It was amazing to see.

"Once the baby was safe, she stopped for a little while and then they went on their way.

"It happened so quickly that I didn't have time to think. I'm sure if she couldn't have rescued him by herself then the other elephants would have helped.

"I never thought the baby might die, because I knew the herd were there and wise enough to save their newborn.

"I was amazed and happy to be there to take the pictures and capture the amazing moment.

"It was magical to see what seemed like human behaviour - a mother helping her baby. It was breathtaking and I felt honoured."

MUST CREDIT PHOTOS BY: Marina Cano / Solent News / Rex Features