A grand total of 11 Asian Elephants have been rescued over the weekend after they made their way into to a mud pit in the Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary in Cambodia and couldn’t get back out. Among the 11 elephants were 3 fully-grown females and 8 young males, one of which was nearing maturity.
Image Credit: WCS
The mud pit, which was almost 10 feet deep, was reportedly made by a bomb explosion during the Vietnam War, but has since been made larger and put to good use by local farmers for water storage. On the other hand, no one was really expecting that elephants were going to trek inside and get stuck.
It was fortunate that the elephants were noticed inside the mud pit, because had they have stayed in the pit for too long, they might have starved and perished.
The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) helped organize the rescue effort, which involved the use of manpower, ramps, and ropes to guide the elephants out of the mud pit.
“This is a great example of everyone working together in Cambodia to save wildlife,” said Dr Ross Sinclair, the WCS country director.
Because Asian Elephants are an endangered species, it was a win for conservation efforts.
“Too often the stories around conservation are about conflict and failure, but this is one about cooperation and success. That the last elephant to be rescued needed everyone to pull together on a rope to drag it to safety is symbolic of how we have to work together for conservation.”
Once out, all of the elephants reportedly rushed off into the surrounding bush. They were probably hungry and needed to look for food, in addition to being startled from all the hubbub.
At least things ended with a happy ending this time around.