Saving Baby Elephant and her Mom

by Rebecca on February 26, 2014

in Animal Stories

Most  conservationists believe that man should not meddle with the natural order  and that we should allow nature to run her course however cruel or grim it  seems to be.

However – every rule has an exception and the dreadful  plight of a baby elephant trapped in the mud of the Kapani Lagoon and her  mother, who had also got stuck trying to save her yesterday, had us all in  a frenzy of activity.   We simply could not stand by and watch  them struggle and slowly die.


South Luangwa Conservation Society (  Zambia ) together with our neighbours – ZAWA – the wildlife authority –  agreed with us and we all joined forces to try and save the mum and  baby.  These great photos document the unfolding  drama……

The family herd desperately trying to help the  screaming Mum and baby escape  but they were completely stuck in the  deep, rapidly drying mud with no chance of getting  out.

The brave and skilled SLCS team manages to slip a rope  under the baby, narrowly avoiding mums thrashing trunk  –  and  starts to haul her out …….


Nearly there – the whole team is hauling as hard as  they can…..    But the baby is terribly frightened and  won’t leave mum’s side.

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Again – she’s out and we think we’re almost  there……   But despite my frantic waving and shouting – she  won’t leave her mum.

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One more try – the team pull her further away from mum  this time…..  They unwrap the ropes and help her to her  feet

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This time – thanks to a young herd cousin calling her  to safety….. she makes a dash for it as the rest of the herd scream for  her to come to them.

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Now back to mum who is dehydrated and exhausted – we’ve  been pouring water over her to try to protect her from the scorching  midday sun. SLCS staff carefully slip a rope under  her….

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and the tractor starts to pull and pull – inching her out  of what would have been a muddy grave  – she seems to sense that  there’s a chance of escape and begins to struggle for her  life…

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With us all shouting encouragment and just willing her to  keep going “come on Mama, come on Mama”……. to the delight of us all –  she makes it! Weak and wobbly she drags herself  out.

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and runs to find her baby and the rest of her waiting  herd! The happiest possible  ending!

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The SLCS team all share a celebratory drink on the Kapani deck with our  relieved guests!

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It was extremely heartening for us all  to see how many local people joined in the efforts to free these two  elephants – the cheers of joy, first when the baby ran to his cousin and  then when Mum was finally released from the jaws of the sticky, cloying  mud were wonderful! Everyone seemed to identify with the mum’s  plight  – we all saw the incredible emotional bond between the  worried herd members and mum and baby.
Thank you SLCS and ZAWA and also  all the NCS staff who bravely fought to make this a happy  ending!

 

<http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&docid=lFqF1JcFZIXjDM&tbnid=vLW3B4zjHcGbkM:&ved=0CAUQjRw&url=http://pictureshd.imagestocks.in/animals-and-nature/baby-elephants/cute-baby-elephant-clipart_1/&ei=fWz4Uf7cNon8lAWggIHABw&bvm=bv.49967636%2cd.dGI&psig=AFQjCNF1-4FeGCLxv5b2L6dVtT9fCLlVng&ust=1375321592371777


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