Thursday, November 10, 2011

Special Moment !! - Dramatic Luangwa elephant rescue.....

Most conservationists believe that man should not meddle with the natural order and that we should allow nature to run her course however cruel or grim it seems to be. Generally it's agreed that on the whole, unless a wildlife problem has been created by man (for instance in the case of snaring or being trapped in a fence, in which case it's justifiable to intervene) then nature should be left to her own devices. She has a plan.   However - every rule has an exception and the dreadful plight of a baby elephant trapped in the mud of the Kapani Lagoon and her mother, who had also got stuck trying to save her yesterday created a frenzy of activity. South Luangwa Conservation Society together with their neighbours - ZAWA - the wildlife authority simply could not stand by and watch them struggle and slowly die, so it was agreed and they all joined forces to try and save the mum and baby.  

The family herd desperately trying to help the screaming Mum and baby escape  but they were completely stuck in the deep, rapidly drying mud with no chance of getting out   
The brave and skilled SLCS team manages to slip a rope under the baby, narrowly avoiding mums thrashing trunk  -  and starts to haul her out .....
Nearly there - the whole team is hauling as hard as they can.....    
But the baby is terribly frightened and won't leave mum's side
Again - she's out and they think they're almost there......   But despite frantic waving and shouting - she won't leave her mum
 
One more try - the team pull her further away from mum this time.....  They unwrap the ropes and help her to her feet
This time - thanks to a young herd cousin calling her to safety..... she makes a dash for it as the rest of the herd scream for her to come to them.
 
Then it's back to mum who is dehydrated and exhausted - the team have been pouring water over her to try to protect her from the scorching midday sun. SLCS staff carefully slip a rope under her....
 
and the tractor starts to pull and pull - inching her out of what would have been a muddy grave  - she seems to sense that there's a chance of escape and begins to struggle for her life...
 
With everyone shouting encouragement and just willing her to keep going "come on Mama, come on Mama"....... to the delight of everyone - she makes it! Weak and wobbly she drags herself out
 
and runs to find her baby and the rest of her waiting herd! The happiest possible ending!          

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