National Park officials in central Thailand have pulled off a remarkable double rescue of an elephant calf and its mother after they both fell into a deep pit during a storm, in Nakhon Nayok province.
The one-year-old baby was first to come to grief. Video images showed its agitated mother stood guard over its vain attempts to get out of the hole.
Veterinarians then tranquilized the adult as a safety measure, only for the unconscious animal to then fall into the pit along with its offspring, so doubling the task.
As rescuers brought up a mechanical digger to try to remove it, the calf took the chance to suckle on its mother’s milk.
Once lifted aside, some people worked to revive the adult pachyderm by jumping on its body, while an operator used the digger to partially flatten out one end of the pit, so creating an escape path for the youngster.
In a moment fraught with danger, the frantic efforts finally paid off as the mother suddenly regained consciousness, staggering to its feet and sending the rescuers on top of it scrambling for safety, to repeated shouts of “Run! Run!”
The two animals were last seen heading off into the forest of Khao Yai national park.