On their side of the international date line it was 11-11-11.
According to reports, the pair became stuck when the mother elephant attempted to rescue the baby from the muddy lagoon, and then they refused to be separated. With drying mud limiting their movement, as they struggled for freedom, they began to tire. When conservationists at the Kapani Safari Lodge in Zambia saw that the pair were losing the struggle to gain freedom, they broke their customary mindset, that man should not interfere with mother nature, and intervened.
They teamed up with South Luangwa Conservation Society (SLCS) and the local wildlife authority to come up with a plan to get the two elephants back on solid ground.
The team slipped a rope around the calf’s belly, and after several attempts, managed to pull her to freedom. Despite being pulled from the mud, the baby elephant was hesitant to leave her mother, and had to be pulled further away before the rope was removed. She reluctantly turned and ran to the herd who stood nearby watching.
The mother elephant’s weight proved to be too much for the rope and human hands alone. Rescuers brought in a tractor and attached the rope to the tractor to haul her out.
After the dramatic rescue, rescue team member Rachel McRobb, who is from from the South Luangwa Conservation Society, said: “Most conservationists believe that man should not meddle with the natural order and that we should allow nature to run her course however cruel or grim it seems to be. We agree on the whole, unless a wildlife problem has been created by man (for instance in the case of snaring or being trapped in a fence, in which case it’s justifiable to intervene) then nature should be left to her own devices. She has a plan.
However – every rule has an exception and the dreadful plight of a baby elephant trapped in the mud of the Kapani Lagoon and her mother, who had also got stuck trying to save her yesterday had us all in a frenzy of activity.
We simply could not stand by and watch them struggle and slowly die.”
Three cheers for South Luangwa Conservation Society and the Norman Carr Safari staff who made 11-11-11 a lucky day for this elephant pair.
I, for one, am glad that they chose to meddle with the natural order.
source: Norman Carr Safaris