In the beautiful jungles of Khao Yai National Park in Thailand, you might spot chattering gibbons, Chinese water dragons or, if you’re lucky, a giant Asian elephant. Unfortunately, on July 13, 2022, park staff came across a calf that was in serious trouble! The heartbreaking process of rescuing baby and mother elephants in Thailand will make you smile.
The video begins with a clip of a 1-year-old calf frantically trying to crawl out of a mud-filled hole. As he tried to climb out, he stumbled and tried to gain his footing. He seems to have just made it. The clip then shows what happened before then. The baby elephant lay shivering as rain fell on him as it lay in a large drainage hole bordered by concrete. He let out a horrified wail and tried to bring himself back to normal.
The next clip shows the calf successfully crawling out of the hole and immediately walking towards its mother. Baby is safe! But the problem is that mom is lying on the ground, motionless. what happened?
A Reuters reporter described what happened at Khao Yai National Park, in Nakhon Nayok province, about 180 kilometers from Bangkok. Rescuers, including veterinarians and park staff, were called in to rescue a calf that fell into a 7-foot-deep drainage well on the side of the road. When they arrived, they found the mother elephant pacing back and forth by the well, very distressed. They sedated the mother to calm her down, but unfortunately, the mother fell and fell unconscious. To make matters worse, she fell into the hole!
The video shows clips of two workers rushing to the mother statue and attempting to perform CPR on her with full arm compressions. Then you see an earlier clip of rescuers using a crane to lift the mother out of the hole. A dozen workers stood anxiously in the pouring rain, eager to help in any way they could. How do you perform CPR on a 6,000-pound adult elephant? Some vets had to stand on the elephant’s chest and jump around to provide enough strength. The whole rescue took more than 3 hours!
The last clip of the video will make you breathe a sigh of relief and smile as you see the mother and calf walking safely back into the jungle. The baby elephant mother was successfully rescued! Rescuers and bystanders were seen holding brightly colored umbrellas in the background along the roadside. Evidently, relief was felt by all involved, especially the baby elephant and mother!
I am broadly interested in how human activities influence the ability of wildlife to persist in the modified environments that we create.
Specifically, my research investigates how the configuration and composition of landscapes influence the movement and population dynamics of forest birds. Both natural and human-derived fragmenting of habitat can influence where birds settle, how they access the resources they need to survive and reproduce, and these factors in turn affect population demographics. Most recently, I have been studying the ability of individuals to move through and utilize forested areas which have been modified through timber harvest as they seek out resources for the breeding and postfledging phases. As well I am working in collaboration with Parks Canada scientists to examine in the influence of high density moose populations on forest bird communities in Gros Morne National Park. Many of my projects are conducted in collaboration or consultation with representatives of industry and government agencies, seeking to improve the management and sustainability of natural resource extraction.
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