Residents near Kenya’s Tsavo East National Park recently stumbled upon an unusual sight in a dam—a baby elephant helplessly stuck in the mud. Lying on its side, the young animal managed to keep its trunk above the water to breathe.
Rob Brandford, Executive Director of The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT), an organization dedicated to rescuing orphaned elephants, believes the calf’s family might have attempted a rescue but ultimately failed due to the treacherous mud surrounding the dam.
The 18-month-old baby elephant’s survival in the dam was remarkable. “His survival is certainly credit to the fact that he has a trunk and was able to use it like a snorkel,” Brandford said. Exhausted from its struggle, the elephant was unable to free itself.
Source: The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) rangers quickly came to the rescue, wading into the muddy water to help the trapped elephant.
The rangers guided the young elephant to the dam’s side, where a team pulled him to safety. The baby, now named Dololo, was brought to dry land but remained weak and sick.
KWS contacted DSWT, which arranged for Dololo’s transport to their nursery’s intensive care unit.
Dololo faced several health issues, including a worm infestation, eye problems, and the risk of pneumonia from ingesting water. Nevertheless, Dololo demonstrated a strong will to live, standing on his own soon after being rescued.
Source: The David Sheldrick Wildlife TrustSource: The David Sheldrick Wildlife TrustSource: The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
Thanks to the dedicated care from DSWT keepers and veterinarians, Dololo gradually recovered.
He bonded with the other orphaned elephants at the DSWT center and will be released back into the wild when he is fully grown. “Knowing that we have afforded him a second chance at survival and a life in the wild… is immensely uplifting,” Brandford said.
Source: The David Sheldrick Wildlife TrustSource: The David Sheldrick Wildlife TrustSource: The David Sheldrick Wildlife TrustSource: The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
Via: The Dodo