The Gache Gache Lodge reserve, located between the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia, discovered an elephant trapped in the mud, covered with mud to its neck.
To rescue the elephant, they went into the muck and tied a rope around its body, taking severe smacks from the trunk in the process; tourists also took turns tugging on the rope to save the animal.
Rescue team member Richard Taylor, 40, spent 6 hours rescuing the babies. “It was still huge enough to k.il.l us even though the elephant was little. It was in agony, and it made me tremble with terror.
“It was making such a loud noise and wiggling its trunk. I got hit by it a few times,” Taylor explained. “I try to stay away from the tusks because if you are struck by one, you might suffer a broken limb.”
According to Taylor, the rope around the animal’s belly is the most serious problem. The mud layer was too thick, and the rescue team could not pass the rope through.
Taylor then devised a method of attaching a rope around the elephant’s head and tusks to raise it without strangling it.
Taylor explained, “When the elephant got out of the mud, my greatest worry was being kil.l.ed by it. Elephants are extremely dangerous in pain.
Of course, it has no idea. We’re doing everything we can to preserve it. It’s just a wild animal that lives by its instincts,” he added.
The elephant will have difficulties standing unless there is a mound or something to lean on due to lying on one side. During the rescue operation, the crew was able to straighten the elephant and wait for it to heal on its own overnight.
However, when they came back the next morning, the elephant couldn’t get up and became weaker. By noon, he was dying and completely exhausted. The rescue team decided to use a gun to free it from the pain.
Ray Townsend, a reserve employee, said: “Even though it got out of the mud, the elephant was unable to stand up on its own.”
Time was against him in this situation. The elephant became stuck in the mud for longer than we anticipated – three to four days lost inactivity. Water, under Africa’s blazing sun, was exacerbated by his efforts to free himself as he got weaker.
Unfortunately, the elephant d.ie.d a few days after the rescue.
″Even though the story doesn’t have a happy ending, it still feels great to watch the team put their time and energy into giving the animals a chance to live. They tried their best,” Mackenzie posted on his personal Facebook.