IFAW Rescues Elephant Calf From Poachers

Tuesday, August 2, 2005
Beijing, China
Members of IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare –www.ifaw.org) rescued a three-year old Asian elephant calf caught in a leg trap in China’s Mengyang Nature Reserve. The elephant was found on July 9, crippled by a clamp on its right-rear leg. The calf, a victim of would-be poachers, was near death from a wound severely infected with maggots and fungus.
“It is very disappointing that an elephant was nearly killed by poachers within a protected nature reserve,” said Dr. Zhang Li IFAW’s Director of China, “Stronger measures must be taken to tackle wildlife poaching in the nature reserves to prevent more animals from suffering and death.”

After finding the trapped elephant, members of IFAW’s Asian elephant protection team anesthetized the calf, freed its leg from the clamp and moved it to a location where its wounds could treated by medical staff. Because the infection was life-threatening IFAW consulted two prestigious elephant veterinarians in India and England concerning treatment options and established a fund to provide medical support for the calf. Team members also named the female calf “Ranran,” Chinese for both “safety” and “a turning point in one’s life.”

Following the incident, a special investigation was authorized by Mr. Tao Shuangshou, Bureau Chief of Xishuang Banna Prefecture’s forestry police. Anti-poaching measures were increased in the area and forestry police, in co-operation with local commercial and industry administration officers, confiscated 585 clamps of various sizes from local hardware shops and forests.

Ranran’s condition is stable and improving. “After Ranran is fully recovered, she will be returned to her mother jungle, for that’s where her real home is,” said Mr. Tao.

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