Africa appears to be the largest land mammal in the world, with adult males known as bull elephants standing nearly 10 feet tall and weighing an average of 13,300 pounds. Male elephants don’t reach full size until they are 35-40 years old, which is more than half their lifespan, while wild elephants can live up to 60-70 years. It’s not just adults who are huge; calves are too! A young elephant may weigh as much as 265 pounds.
Over the Meru National Park in Kenya, Africa, a helicopter flies at low altitude with a loud engine. Trees and shrubs are a common conservation measure, but one elephant finds itself vulnerable. Pilots can observe the herd from above. This disturbed the forest giants, who instinctively ran away. Some giant elephant families have been torn apart during the climb, but the babies are reluctant to leave their mother’s side.
From the helicopter, the veterinarian carefully aimed the elephant, making sure he hit the right elephant in the right place. Since the elephant was also moving around, it was difficult to get to the correct location from a moving helicopter. As you can see in this video, it’s almost like the elephant is dancing with the helicopter.
It is usually injected cleanly into the elephant’s rump, releasing a mixture of thifentanil (an opioid) and azapirone (a sedative). These drugs are designed to make animals tired or sleepy.
In most areas, an elephant’s skin is only an inch thick. The folds and wrinkles of their skin can hold ten times more water than flat skin, which helps them stay cool. They take mud baths and mud baths regularly to keep their skin healthy and prevent sunburn. This shows how difficult it is to get a clean injection through their tough skin.
The medications usually take effect after about 10 minutes, which is often a problem because the animal will immediately wander around the bushes looking for a place to hide with only a few minutes left on its feet. That’s when a skilled pilot and his helicopter arrive to help stop the scurrying animal from running into the woods or into people’s homes. It’s usually a battle between elephants and pilots, between darts and drugs that work on the beast.
Although we don’t see it in this video, the medical team was able to inject the elephant with medicine. Eventually, the large, beautiful creature stopped, dangled from his feet, fell, fell safely, and fell into a deep sleep. While the animals are resting, the ground team takes over to ensure the safety of the elephants and perform procedures to dart the animals.
Once all was done, another veterinarian worked with the ground crew to administer an antidote to the animal to revive it. The team then directed the crew to find the next elephant.
Ready for more elephant videos?
Watch elephants fight crocodiles to the death!
Watch Elephants maim and throw a full-sized buffalo like it’s nothing
This bold elephant inadvertently stole sugar cane straight from the truck!
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.
Leave a Reply