People attempt to help an elephant who got stuck in a mud puddle

The 40-year-old elephant was trapped in a mud puddle and couldn’t get out by itself.

The elephant was spotted at an outpost , in Kiboko, Kenya, where they watch over animals and keep an eye out for illegal activities. They didn’t know how the elephant got trapped in the puddle, but they assumed it was taking a bath.


The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust/Big Life Foundation

“It is normal thing: all elephants shower in mud to cover their skins against the sun’s rays, and as a type of bug repellent,” said Rob Brandford, chief executive of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT), an organization that saves endangered elephants.


The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust/Big Life Foundation

Big Life Foundation realized they couldn’t rescue the elephant by themselves, so they teamed up with the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), the Department of State Wildlife (DSWT), and the surrounding community. They attempted to bring the elephant out with the help of large trucks, but it was difficult. The elephant was kept in position in the puddle by a mud adhesive that developed around his body.


The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust/Big Life Foundation

Staying in a mud for such a long time was difficult and dangerous for an elephant.

“The main issue is that he couldn’t eat or drink,” Brandford explained, “this is worsened by the animal’s efforts to gut itself, which uses up energy and makes it weaker.” “Also, this elephant can’t go into the shadow to be cool, and it can’t use its ears to do so since they’re stuck.”


The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust/Big Life Foundation

The team was able to build a water line from the pipes to help elephant to drink a water while the process was going on.”


The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust/Big Life Foundation

The crew worked extremely hard to save the elephant, even pulling it out with two enormous vehicles. However, the elephant returned to the muck overnight and became trapped once more.

After three days of trying, the crew was on the verge of giving up.


The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust/Big Life Foundation

“By day 3, there was rising anxiety,” Brandford said, “given the difficulties of placing the trucks into the appropriate position so that he could be lifted out without harming him.” “There was a lot of rocky terrain, and cars were always getting trapped.” Despite these fears, everyone involved became increasingly motivated to succeed.

By securing the elephant’s body to three Land Cruisers using thick straps, the crew was able to bring him out a second time. The elephant was able to stay on dry ground after being rescued this time, however it appeared confused by the long rescue procedure.


The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust/Big Life Foundation

“He is a real hero, because he was tired by the struggle and had been without food and sunlight for such a long period,” Bradford adds. “However, he regained his energy and was able to get up after receiving intravenous fluids from DSWT and injections from a KWS veterinarian.”


The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust/Big Life Foundation

Because the elephant was a male, he traveled singly and was not a member of the herd or the family. Big Life Foundation rangers have now sighted him many kilometres from the rescue location and report that he is doing quite well.

“Seeing him standing up in three days,” Brandford said, was the most fascinating part of the rescue.

“It was simple to put him in a situation where it was conceivable,” Brandford explained, “and there was certainly a delight and a sense of achievement from everybody involved that the efforts and long days paid off for this lovely bull.”

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People attempt to help an elephant who got stuck in a mud puddle
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