Baby elephant and mother rescued from drain hole in dramatic video at Thai national park
A dramatic video showed a team of veterinarians, national park staff and volunteers successfully rescuing a baby elephant that fell into a drain hole and performing CPR on its mother elephant on Wednesday in Khao Yai National Park, Nakhon Nayok province in central Thailan
Park authorities and veterinarians in Thailand pulled off a heroic rescue after a pair of elephants became stuck in a drainage hole in Khao Yai National Park on Wednesday.
The rescue involved a boom lift, a digger and the resuscitation of the sedated mother elephant after her one-year-old calf fell to the bottom of a roadside drain on the outskirts of the Royals Hills golf course in Nakhon Nayok province.
The mother and baby elephant are believed to belong to a herd that has been travelling through the area — but the dutiful mother stayed behind with her child after it became stuck. They were discovered in a state of distress by a passing resident who quickly notified park officials, CBS reported.
In the pouring rain, the two-metre-deep pit was too steep for the baby elephant to climb out of and the agitated mother made rescue difficult for the crew.
The rescue team made the decision to sedate the mother in order to retrieve the baby elephant but she also fell into the hole shortly after.
“It was impossible to get near the baby while the mother was nearby so we gave her three doses of tranquillizers but she moved towards her baby before passing out and hit her head,” Dr. Chananya Kanchanasarak, a vet for Khao Yai National Park, told Sky News.
There was a silver lining to this setback, though, as the elephant calf was able to feed from its unconscious mother, who was half in and half out of the pit.
A boom lift mounted on the back of a truck was brought in to pull the mother out before a digger could clear a pathway in the mud for the elephant calf to climb out of the drainage hole.
Three rescuers performed CPR on the mother elephant after she was lifted out of the hole, with one crew member jumping up and down on her chest to rouse the unconscious giant.
The Guardian reports that the calf began to suckle its mother and the pair returned to the wild, shaken but unharmed, following the three-hour-long rescue operation.
Chananya said it was “one of the most memorable rescues we’ve done.”
In 2019, at the same national park in Thailand, six elephants, including a three-year-old calf, died after falling into a waterfall.
About 300 wild elephants live in the park, which spans 2,000 square kilometres of forest and grassland.