Herculean Rescue: Firefighters Save Ailing Elephant Unable to Stand

When an African elephant named Umna fell ill and could not rise due to a life-threatening condition known as colic, firefighters were called to carry out a mammoth rescue at the Howletts Wild Animal Park, located near Canterbury, Kent.


Umna’s 2-ton weight posed a massive challenge for the park keepers who tried to get the 13-year-old elephant back on her feet.

Initial attempts to lift her using ropes were unsuccessful, as was a second try with a forklift truck.


The park staff, facing an escalating emergency, turned to Kent Fire and Rescue Service, known for its proficiency in animal rescue and heavy lifting operations.

Lift: Umna Needed Help From The Local Services To Be Lifted To Her Feet After Collapsing At Howletts Wild Animal Park
Lift: Umna needed help from the local services to be lifted to her feet after collapsing at Howletts Wild Animal Park.

Firefighters, who typically handle farm animal rescues, were dispatched from Faversham at 9:30 am. Urban search and rescue teams and a crew from Whitstable later joined them.

Ian West, Faversham’s watch manager at the scene, shared that they combined their expertise in heavy rescues with the park keepers’ knowledge of elephants to devise a plan.


They positioned strops around Umna’s front body. They used a Tirfor winch to lift her legs into a ‘begging’ position, eventually enabling her to manage her weight.

Up On Her Feet: Umna Is Suffering From Colic And The Zoo Keepers Wanted To Keep Her Moving, So Brought In The Local Firemen
Up on her feet: Umna is suffering from colic, and the zoo keepers wanted to keep her moving, so they brought in the local firemen.

West expressed his amazement at the successful outcome, calling it a memorable, likely once-in-a-career event.

Neil Spooner, the animal director at Howletts, acknowledged the crucial assistance of animal transport expert Roy Smith, who coincidentally was at the park for a meeting.


He said the collaboration between the firefighters, the elephant keepers, and Smith saved Umna’s life, expressing his profound gratitude for their efforts.

Help: Firefighters Initially Tried To Shift The 13-Year-Old By Placing Ropes Around Her Body To Lift Her, But The Two-Tonne Animal Proved Just Too Heavy - And A Second Attempt Was Made Using A Forklift Truck
Help: Firefighters initially tried to shift the 13-year-old by placing ropes around her body to lift her, but the two-tonne animal proved just too heavy – and a second attempt was made using a forklift truck.
Baby: Umna Is Shown Here In 1997 As A Baby Elephant With Mother Tamara
Baby: Umna is shown here in 1997 as a baby elephant with her mother, Tamara.

Read more Elephant News.


Canidae Pet Food Reviews: An In-Depth Look

Choosing the right pet food is crucial for the health and well-being of our furry friends. In this blog post, we'll delve deep into Canidae pet food, a popular choice among pet owners, and provide an in-depth review based on various sources.

Canidae is a well-known brand in the pet food industry, offering a range of products designed to cater to pets of all ages, breeds, and sizes.

Product Range:

  • Canidae All-Life Stages (Dry): This vet-formulated product suits dogs of all ages, breeds, and sizes. It's available in both dry and wet formulas.
  •  Canidae Pure: A limited-ingredient diet crafted for dogs with food sensitivities. Each recipe typically includes 7 to 10 ingredients.

Key Ingredients

The Canidae All Life Stages Multi Protein Formula, which represents the brand's product line, contains ingredients like chicken meal, turkey meal, brown rice, peas, oatmeal, and barley. Chicken meal, the primary ingredient, is a meat concentrate with nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

Recalls and Safety

Canidae has had recalls in the past. It's essential to stay updated with the brand's recall history to ensure your pet's safety.

Customer Reviews

The Canidae Dog Food product line has earned an overall rating of 4.5 stars from The Dog Food Advisor. The Canidae All Life Stages Dog Food has received the Advisor's second-highest tier rating of 4.5 stars.

Pros and Cons:

  • Pros: High protein content, suitable for all life stages, contains beneficial ingredients like flaxseed and taurine.
  •  Cons: It contains some controversial ingredients, and not all minerals are chelated, which might affect absorption.


Canidae All Life Stages is a grain-inclusive dry dog food that uses a notable amount of named meat meals as its primary source of animal protein. With an above-average protein content and a profile suggesting a significant amount of meat, it comes highly recommended for pet owners.