Baby elephant rescued after falling into drain (South Africa)


Stuart Winter

Date Published

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The young calf fell into an outflow trap and would have drowned without the incredible strength of the two men who pulled the 250lb creature to safety.

Gripping video footage shows the workers Johan Bezuidenhout and Quenton du Plessisu using their brute strength to help the youngster who was trying to quench his thirst in the fierce drought that has stricken South Africa’s wildlife.

The youngster’s herd had been drawn to one of the country’s copper mines by the scent of fresh water, but somehow he wandered off and fell into the water-filled trap.

The mine workers used brute strength to drag the elephant out of the water trap

The baby elephant had got stuck while looking for water

Although the mine workers saved his life, hopes of reuniting the young bull with his herd floundered and now he is being looked after at the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre, near Pretoria.

The elephant has been called Amanzi – water in the Zulu language – and is already showing signs of getting over his near drowning ordeal and subsequent exile from the herd.

Amanzi’s story has been revealed by Elephants Alive, a South African charity set up to protect the planet’s largest land mammals and their habitat as well as promoting a harmonious co-existence between the animals and humans.

The elephant has been called Amanzi – water in the Zulu language

We are so proud to say that he is a very clever little elephant

A spokesman for Elephants Alive

Fears that Amanzi might not survive in the severe heat have been already been allayed, and he has astounded his carers who are feeding him in shifts every two hours.

A spokesman for Elephants Alive said: “We are so proud to say that he is a very clever little elephant.

“He stuck to the shade, walked to the water trough to splash water on himself as soon as he got hot and even tried to open the tap when we didn’t jump to hose him down immediately.

“He was thirstier than usual because of the soaring temperatures.

“It was very peaceful watching him sleep on the straw, his sheep companion not too far away and his ever watchful caregiver of the day, Liverson Sande, gazing lovingly at him.”

After going on an extended walk in the bush with one of his carers, there are hopes that he will now survive.

“He is getting the best veterinary care but as the experts have all warned, you have to take it day by day,” say Elephants Alive.

“The prognosis for neonates (newborns) is never very good.

“With your prayers we hold the faith that little Amanzi will not only become another success story but like the ‘water’, which is his name in Zulu, he becomes a symbol of hope.

“We also believe that he has the potential to become a national a symbol of hope for our land which is currently caught in the grips of a very bad drought.

“Water is life and hope. Like Amanzi, we all depend on drops of mercy to keep us going.”