The tiny elephant calf was hopelessly trapped deep in a borehole in Kenya’s Meru National Park as its frantic mother looked on.
Officials said she tried to get her baby out of the hole, likely initially dug for livestock, but all her attempts failed.
That’s when the Kenya Wildlife Service worked with the Born Free Foundation to hatch a rescue plan.
“We suspect he had spent the whole night there,” Irena Kanga of Save Meru’s Giants team said in a statement April 1. “On arrival we found the mother trying to rescue her calf, but the borehole was extremely treacherous.”
The Kenya Wildlife Service rangers scared the mother elephant away with blank bullets, which allowed the team to rescue the calf using ropes.
“It was extremely difficult but, fortunately, the youngster was still in good condition,” Born Free added.
In Meru National Park, our team was contacted by Kenya Wildlife Service to help rescue a baby elephant who had fallen into a borehole and couldn't get out, despite desperate attempts by his mother.— Born Free Foundation (@BornFreeFDN) April 2, 2022
Thankfully there was a happy ending – find out more: https://t.co/ZxE3L9ERbh pic.twitter.com/2wHRTAA8tO
Officials called the reunion with baby and mother nothing short of “joyful.”
“Our team was delighted to see him happily suckling to make up for a long night without feeding,” the group said.
Jlow Jcool Golycher of the Kenya Wildlife Ministry later posted a photo to Facebook of the pair saying “both were happy.”
It was a big job for a little elephant, but according to Born Free, every single elephant matters.