Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Elephants in dramatic muddy escape

29 March 2017
From the section Science & Environment

It is a great escape. One by one, 11 Asian elephants manage to drag themselves clear of a muddy hole.

The drama took place in the Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary in Mondulkiri Province, Cambodia.

The elephants had gone to drink and bathe in water collected in an old bomb crater - but then got stuck.

Local villagers used vegetation and ropes to help the animals out. Once clear, the elephants ran off into the bush.

Everyone pulled together to avoid a tragedy, said Tan Setha, a Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) technical advisor to the protected area.

“This herd consisted of three adult females and eight juveniles of various ages, including a male that had almost reached maturity.

"These elephants represent an important part of the breeding population in Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary, and their loss would have been a major blow to conservation." Image copyright WCS Image caption The hole is an old bomb crater enlarged to store water

The muddy hole was originally made by a bomb during the Vietnam war, but was later widened by farmers to store water.

When the farmers realised the elephants were trapped in the depression last Friday, they notified the Department of Environment, who in turn notified WCS who were able to mobilise a rescue effort.


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