The jumbo-sized rescue: Four-tonne elephants are tranquilised and lifted by cranes onto transporter trucks after an entire herd escaped from a nature reserve (South Africa)


Gareth Davies, Daily Mail

Date Published

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Jaw-dropping photographs have revealed how four-tonne African elephants were tranquilised and lifted by crane in a massive rescue operation after a herd escaped from a nature reserve.

At least 10 animals were rescued by rangers as they scrambled to get them back into the reserve from which they came.

Shots taken by a British conservation photographer capture the 8,000-pound elephants being lifted by a crane after escaping.

The 10-foot-tall creatures were lifted by their feet after being tranquilised and carefully placed on the back of transporter trucks.

In one image, the elephants can be seen taking their first steps after waking up.

In order to keep them comfortable, rangers stayed with the animals during the transport, opened their trunks with branches to make sure they were still able to breathe and doused them in water to keep them cool.

The impressive pictures were taken in Southern Africa by conservation photographer Pete Oxford (58) from Torquay, UK.