Watch: Man saves drowning antelope after elephant alerts zoo staff

A dramatic rescue played out at a zoo in Guatemala City last month after an antelope fell into a pool of water and began to struggle – and it was all thanks to a vigilant elephant.

Zoo visitor Maria Diaz caught the entire event on video back on April 29. Her footage shows the elephant ‘Trompita’ standing next to a pool, trumpeting repeatedly and pointing its trunk at an antelope drowning in the water at Zoológico La Aurora.

After a few moments, a zoo worker dives into the pool and swims toward the antelope. It takes him several tries to lift the frantic animal high enough that it can bound up over the ledge.

"Bravo," a woman says in the video as the antelope hops away while onlookers applaud.


Romeo López is seen in footage jumping into the pool to save the drowning antelope.

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Diaz told Storyful that she heard the sound of an elephant at the zoo so she went to see what happened. 

"I saw that an antelope in the water was really scared, fighting for its life and an elephant trying to help him," she recalled. "I was really impressed but happy because the antelope has been saved."

The zoo worker was later identified by local media as Romeo López, Trompita’s caretaker. The zoo honored both López and Trompita for their role in the rescue on Wednesday.

Trompita reportedly enjoyed peanuts, watermelon and carrots as her reward, while López was given a certificate

"For me, it is a blessing and a joy to be working here in this institution," he said, as reported by

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This story was reported from Tampa, Fla.