Thai vets perform CPR to rescue elephant trapped in drain with its baby

·2-min read

A stranded elephant and its calf were pulled out of a drainage hole in Thailand this week in a dramatic rescue that involved CPR, a boom lift and a digger.

The rescue operation was carried out early on Wednesday morning in central Thailand’s Khao Yai National Park as veterinarians and staff joined hands to pull out the two jumbos from a 7ft deep hole.

The calf had fallen into the drain as it was slippery due to the monsoon. Its mother was standing guarding over the one-year-old calf.

But when wildlife volunteers tranquilised the distressed mother so that they could reach the calf and rescue it, the older elephant hit its head on a concrete structure, lost consciousness and also fell in.

Park rangers had been afraid that the mother would cry out for help from its 30-elephant herd if they try to pull out the calf against her will. So, they decided to call in vets to help them, according to The Telegraph.

Footage from the rescue showed the older elephant unconscious, with her forelegs and head stuck in the drain, while the calf was under her.

Vets and other experts rescue an elephant after it fell into a drainage hole in Khao Yai National Park, Nakhon Nayok province, Thailand (Reuters)
Vets and other experts rescue an elephant after it fell into a drainage hole in Khao Yai National Park, Nakhon Nayok province, Thailand (Reuters)
An elephant calf is seen inside a drainage hole after it fell in in Khao Yai National Park, Nakhon Nayok province, Thailand on 13 July (Reuters)
An elephant calf is seen inside a drainage hole after it fell in in Khao Yai National Park, Nakhon Nayok province, Thailand on 13 July (Reuters)

Rescuers used a truck-mounted boom lift to pull her out before crawling on top of her to perform simultaneous cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Diggers also made way for the anxious calf to climb out of the drain.

It began suckling its mother as soon as the older elephant regained consciousness and the two then made their way into the wild.

A calf stands next to its mother, a sedated adult elephant, following a rescue operation to recover the younger elephant after it fell into a hole, in Nakhon Nayok province in central Thailand (Thailand’s Department of National Parks)
A calf stands next to its mother, a sedated adult elephant, following a rescue operation to recover the younger elephant after it fell into a hole, in Nakhon Nayok province in central Thailand (Thailand’s Department of National Parks)
Both the elephants walked away together after the rescue operation (Thailand’s Department of National Parks)
Both the elephants walked away together after the rescue operation (Thailand’s Department of National Parks)

It took about three hours for the team to finish the rescue operation.

“It was impossible to get near the baby while the mother was nearby so we gave her three doses of tranquillisers but she moved towards her baby before passing out and hit her head,” Dr ChananyaKanchanasarak, Khao Yai national park’s vet told Sky News.

It was “one of the most memorable rescues we’ve done”, he added.

Additional reporting by agencies

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