A video of South African motorcycle adventure rider Johan Gray saving a calf from drowning, that had fallen into a canal, has captured international attention after it was posted on YouTube, turning the professional motorcyclist into an instant celebrity.
Gray was riding in the Amegeza Gauteng, an assessment trial leading up to a 14-day endurance rally that crosses the South Africa in 2012, didn't have to think twice about stopping to rescue a young calf who had wandered away from the herd and fallen into a canal, where it was being carried away by the moving water.
Gray spotted the calf and quickly turned his motorbike around and went back to the animal, who was struggling to swim to safety. Gray captured the moment on his helmet cam and posted it to YouTube and his Facebook page, where thousands of curious viewers have flocked to see the rescue and leave comments about his ingenuity and selflessness.
The three minute video shows him using a recovery strap, anchored to his motorcycle, to slide down into the water, where he is able to capture the floundering calf. Gray makes a number of attempts to ascend the steep canal walls with the calf in his arms, and then makes a final effort to pull the calf to safety from above.
Gray then loads the nearly drowned calf onto his motorcycle and returns it to its mother and herd. The farmers told Gray they were unable to save it because they could not swim.
Gray, 46, who says he "cannot get away from the bike thing," participates in endurance and navigational motorcycle challenges and African Dream Adventures in South Africa.