Mother elephant and calf rescued from manhole near Khao Yai National Park

Officials from Khao Yai National Park and volunteers successfully and dramatically rescued a mother elephant and its calf from a two-metre deep manhole near a resort in Muang district of Nakhon Nayok province today (Wednesday).

According to park officials, three teams worked on the rescue. One formed a line about 1km from the manhole, to prevent a herd of from elephants approaching. The second team was responsible for tranquilising the adult elephant, to prevent her from attempting to rescue her calf, which might complicate the operation, and the third was responsible for pulling the calf from the manhole by crane.

Saksiri Siriboon, the headman of Village 8 in Saleeka sub-district, said that he came across a herd of about 30 elephants, including some calves, near a resort at about 1am this morning and one of the calves suddenly fell into the manhole, which is about two metres deep and three metres wide.

The calf, which is believed to be about a year old, could not get out by itself and her mother was watching from above, said Saksiri, adding that it was raining at the time.

Officials used three tranquilizer shots to subdue the adult elephant, resulting in her plunging head first into the same hole, with its two hind legs resting on the rim of the manhole.

This did, however, allow the hungry calf to suckle from its mother.

With the help of the crane, the men successfully pulled the mother from the manhole first, for fear that she might suffocate.

She did faint after being pulled out, prompting the vet and her team to administer CPR, while the trapped calf trumpeted loudly as it tried to climb out to get to her unconscious parent.

The calf was later pulled out of the hole, after which it laid next to her mother and suckled until her mother regained consciousness. Both elephants are now safe and have been returned to the jungle to re-join their herd.



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