Elephant calf stuck in mud pit rescued and reunited with mother


A wild elephant calf, stuck in a mud pit in a tea garden near Kaziranga National Park in the North eastern Indian state of Assam, was rescued and reunited with its mother, by the Assam Forest Department assisted by the International Fund for Animal Welfare and partner Wildlife Trust of India.

The male calf, about four-years old, was found trapped in the mud pit in Kanchanjuri, Bagori Range, Kaziranga. The distressed mother, who remained in the vicinity of the trapped calf, reportedly damaged a bicycle as people approached the calf.

“The mother was nearby and would respond to the calf’s calls and try to approach the pit every time it called. The forest guards kept watch and even fired in the air to scare away the mother, while we tried to rescue the calf,” said Dr Phulmoni Gogoi, IFAW-WTI Mobile Veterinary Service (MVS) veterinarian, who attended the rescue.

Dry earth was put into the pit to enable the calf to climb out on its own.

“The calf was healthy, just a bit fatigued by its repeated efforts to extricate itself from the slippery mud in the pit. However as soon as it got out of the pit, it started chasing all of us! It eventually headed off to follow its mother,” Dr Gogoi said.

Annually, a number of Asian elephant calves are separated from their herds due to natural or man-made causes in Assam among other Indian states. IFAW-WTI, through its MVS units in Central and Lower Assam, has attended to seven wild elephants this year, of which five have been released following necessary interventions.

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