A new nature documentary has highlighted the delicate balance between humans and animals along the Equator using aerial footage.
In Sunday night’s episode of BBC2’s Equator From The Air, vets are shown rushing to help an elephant in Kenya that an arrow fired by a farmer has injured.
After sh.ooting the animal with a tranquilizer dart, two jeeps carrying vets try to get closer. Still, they have to scare off another elephant who is desperately trying to help its fallen pal.
Wildlife cameraman and presenter Gordon Buchanan are seen joining the vets on the ground after chasing off the herd in a helicopter.
Before this, he uses the helicopter’s noise to push the herd away from the elephant to be shot with a dart.
Two teams of vets are on the ground and, with the helicopter’s help, which is pushing the herd away, find a clear sh.ot to tranquilize the large animal.
Within minutes the dart takes effect, and the injured elephant falls to the ground.
Although most of the herd has retreated, one elephant refuses to leave its fallen pal.
Gordon explains how elephants are ‘highly social creatures with strong bonds’ as the animal tries to push the fallen one with its trunk.
Gordon says: ‘It just shows how compassionate elephants are. Three vehicles are trying to chase it away, and it doesn’t want to leave.’
Eventually, the elephant goes away, and Dr. Limo can treat the sedated one. Although it’s ‘gory stuff, she can’t feel pain while under.
The vet pulls a barbed arrow from the elephant’s said, which would have originally been attached to a wooden part.
In less than 45 minutes, the elephant has been sedated, treated, and back on her feet, leaving Gordon very impressed.
He says: ‘Migratory animals need space, and we’re robbing space from elephants.’
Soon after the elephant rejoins the herd, the men get another call for a baby elephant with a snare stuck on its trunk.
Gordon’s rescue is emotional, who is seen looking distressed on camera as the vets roll the baby elephant.
Although snare injuries can be fatal, vets manage to release the calf, who is soon reunited with its mother.
In the episode, Gordon is seen taking to the skies with Mark Goss, CEO, and pilot of the Mara Elephant Project.
On their way to help the elephant hurt by the dart, the men spot a big herd on the ground ‘with lots of youngsters as well.’
They explain how elephants are increasingly forced into contact with people who depend on the land, and ‘when crops are trampled, farmers understandably respond.
Mark also reveals how before they got a helicopter in 2012, they had lots of conflict reports and ‘found 120 elephant carcasses in one year before the helicopter.’
The episode is also the Bidi Bidi refugee settlement camp in Uganda, which is home to 280,000 South Sudanese people.
Gordon meets a group of men mapping the area using smartphones and GPS to help aid facilities know what’s in the area.
While there, Gordon visits a school that has 3,800 children enrolled but only 15 rooms. The teacher reveals they need 21 more.
Gordon also visits Gabon, where close to 90 percent of the land is covered in tropical rainforests.
These are home to chimps, leopards, and a quarter of the earth’s remaining gorillas, but there are also rich deposits of gold under the forests.
As Gordon looks out of the helicopter, he sees an old mine site he describes as a ‘big scar on the forest.’
Watch the video below:
By BRYONY JEWELL FOR MAILONLINE/Daily Mail