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Mama elephant and baby saved from manhole in Thailand

The baby elephant was traveling with its mother as part of a jungle herd that was passing by when it fell into a manhole. The mother elephant nearly died during the rescue.

HANDOUT/THAILAND’S DEPARTMENT OF NATIONA/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

The incident took place on the outskirts of the Royal Hills golf course in Thailand’s Nakhon Nayok province. A passerby noticed that the baby elephant had fallen into the manhole and alerted wildlife authorities and Khao Yai National Park authorities. As the calf fell into the drainage, its mother became distressed and stood to watch while her baby struggled to emerge from the hole.
Rescuers began efforts to lift the 1-year-old baby elephant but they could not proceed due to the presence of the anxious mother.

HANDOUT/THAILAND’S DEPARTMENT OF NATIONA/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

A tranquilizer was ultimately applied on the older elephant, in an effort to stabilize her so the rescue could continue. But as a result, the mother elephant tumbled partially into the hole as well. Rescuers went all-in to help the mother and baby simultaneously. One group used a truck-mounted boom lift to pull the mother out, while a digger cleared away earth to allow the anxious calf to climb out from the slippery mud.

HANDOUT/THAILAND’S DEPARTMENT OF NATIONA/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

Rescuers used a truck-mounted boom lift to pull the mother out before climbing on top of her to perform simultaneous cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) as a digger cleared away earth so the anxious calf could climb out from the slippery mud.
The calf began suckling its mother, who soon regained consciousness, and both returned immediately to the wild.

HANDOUT/THAILAND’S DEPARTMENT OF NATIONA/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

“Despite the obstacles, the mother did not leave her baby’s side. This experience touched our hearts and will be one of the most memorable rescues we’ve done.”

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