This baby elephant was found near the Tana River in Ndera Nature Reserve, Kenya, and was immediately reported to rescuers. The poor thing had fallen into a rope trap set by poachers and was struggling to get out. At this time, the elephant’s mother stood in the distance, watching helplessly for her baby.
A team of veterinarians from the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust flew out in a helicopter to help the animal. They used a dart filled with an anesthetic to temporarily put the elephant to sleep, cut the rope on its leg, and sprayed the injuries with blue antiseptic.
After the team successfully freed the baby elephant, it woke up and happily ran to its mother. The team was happy to free the baby, but unfortunately, such cases are not uncommon here. Although the reserves in Kenya try to protect them from poachers, the organizations cannot keep track of everyone, and many animals end up in trouble.
Amie Alden, from Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, described snares laid by poachers as an “incredibly cruel threat to wildlife”.
Speaking about the rescue mission, she added: “Our Airwing is poised for situations like these, so the helicopter flew Dr Poghon to the scene, where the mother stood watching her baby around 50 metres away. It remained a very real possibility that the mother and another nearby adult elephant, would move in, so our pilot circled overhead to monitor the situation and protect the ground team.”
Sheldrick Wildlife Trust saves local elephants from the hands of poachers every year. In recent years, they have been able to achieve significant results – the elephant population in Kenya has started to grow again. There are now 36,280 elephants in the country, 12 percent more than in 2014 when poaching activity was highest.
The team were left feeling a sense of accomplishment and were thankful to be in a position to right such wrongs.