Rescuers take 12 hours to rescue elephant from pit


Robert Kiplagat, The Standard

Date Published
An elephant escaped death narrowly after falling into a pit filled with sewage at a wildlife conservancy near Masai Mara Game Reserve.

It took Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) personnel, David Sheldrick vet team and Mara Elephant Trust, among other conservationists, more than 12 hours to rescue the animal.

KWS officers said they were informed that an elephant had fallen into the pit at Ololaimutia Mara Sidai Camp around 3 pm on Tuesday. It was not clear how long the animal had been trapped. Olarro Conservancy manager William Hofmeyr said: “I received a call from David Sheldrick Mara Mobile Vet team that an elephant had fallen into a pit. They needed our machines to help save the bull elephant.”

Mr Hofmeyr said they immediately loaded the equipment they needed for the rescue mission into a truck.

The conservationist said that the rescue mission was tough as they had to travel a long distance, endure bad roads and work long and odd hours.

“We didn’t look at the challenges. Our mission was clear; to save the elephant. We did not allow anything to stop or discourage us, not even the stench from the pit,” he said.

“The elephant was already in stress and tired having been trapped for hours. After a small survey, we dug out a spillway to drain out the dirty water and later created a tunnel for the elephant to use to climb out,” Hofmeyr told The Standard yesterday.

“The elephant was exhausted having struggled for hours to come out of the pit but it is in stable condition,” said a KWS official involved in the rescue mission.