Published on the 12th of November, 2016
With the present ongoing drought conditions in the southern sector of Tsavo East National Park, drying waterholes can prove a death trap for tiny vulnerable elephant calves. Today the DSWT Voi Keepers and Tsavo Mobile Veterinary Unit were alerted by the KWS Senior warden about a stricken baby elephant calf bogged in mud. Concerned onlookers who reported this case watched as a female struggled long and hard to extract her bogged baby from the waterhole which by now was more mud than water.
Our teams reacted swiftly and were there to provide the assistance required, while thankfully the mother remained close to the scene. On arrival our Keepers waded into the mud and with the help of others from the bank’s edge with a strap placed under the belly of the baby they were able to drag the calf to the side, all the while holding her head up to protect her from ingesting any more mud, and then lifted her to safety onto the hardened banks edge.
They then coaxed the baby towards its mother, and thankfully the patient mother, who must have known help was at hand, gratefully took possession of her baby once more, gently caressing the calf with her trunk, all the while rumbling reassuring sounds. Our teams watched on as together they wandered off, the baby still heavily coated in drying mud, but still appearing to have good energy levels. Thankfully her mother looked in good condition too so we feel sure this episode today will have a very happy ending.