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Baby elephant rescued from well

Staff writers
October 19, 2012 — A baby elephant is safe with her mother after being rescued from a well.

Rescuer's tied a rope onto a Land Rover to help pull the distressed elephant back on ground (file photo)
Rescuer's tied a rope onto a Land Rover to help pull the distressed elephant back on ground (file photo)

A heartwarming video of the rescue of a baby elephant in a Kenyan national park that lies in the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro gained a mass of viewers on Thursday. 

The video shows a team of elephant conservationists with Amboseli Trust for Elephants whom responded to a distressed call from the Amboseli National Park in Kenya, where an eight-month old calf had fallen into a five-foot well dug by a Masai tribesman.

The baby elephant was too small to crawl out on its own and officials say would have died without the help of rescuers.

The rescue took place on October 8. The very next day, another elephant calf fell in the same well. That baby's family was driven off by the Masai, so when the Amboseli Trust for Elephants rescued the second calf, they sent the baby to an elephant orphanage in Nairobi, The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. 

The Amboseli Trust for Elephants has been studying elephant families since 1972, and Vicki Fishlock, of the Amboseli Trust for Elephants, immediately recognized the calf's mother, Zombe, from a mark near her ear. Zombe appeared to almost sit on Fishlock's Land Rover as the vehicles tried to push the mother away from her trapped baby. 

Despite the initial confrontation, Fishlock thinks Zombe eventually understood that the humans were only trying to help.

"After the video we cut the engines. She didn't charge us, she didn't run away. Eventually after five minutes they just walked out. I think she did understand,'' Fishlock said. "I certainly felt like she had forgiven us for our very impolite behaviour.''

The Amboseli Trust for Elephants aims to ensure the long-term conservation and welfare of Africa's elephants in the context of human needs and pressures through scientific research, training, community outreach, public awareness and advocacy. 

With files from the Associated Press

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