News from the field
Wednesday 7th December 2011
Mum and baby stuck in the deep mud
Mum and baby stuck in the deep mud

With the support of Taronga, the South Luangwa Conservation Society in Zambia, Africa, is trying to stop poaching of native and protected species for the illegal bush meat trade. Increasing numbers of animals such as buffalos, elephants, hippos, chimpanzees, giraffes and small antelope are being killed and injured every year as a result of increasing demand for bush meat. The snares used to kill the animals are extremely painful and cause great anxiety, so their use is an issue of animal welfare as well as of conservation.

Together with the Zambia Wildlife Authority, the team at the South Luangwa Conservation Society respond quickly to any poaching incidents and patrol vulnerable areas of the South Luangwa National Park. The team are highly trained in veterinary procedures and so can remove snares from injured animals to treat the horrific wounds the snares cause.

Just recently, the team from the South Luangwa Conservation Society sighted a baby elephant trapped in the mud of the Kapani Lagoon with her mother, which had also got stuck trying to save her. The team could not stand by and watch them struggle and slowly die. The team joined forces with the Zambia Wildlife Authority to try and save the mum and baby.

See the incredible photos and read the heart warming story below.

Reproduced with permission from Norman Carr Safaris, photos by Abraham Banda, story by Christina Carr, Norman Carr Safaris 

The family herd desperately trying to help the screaming Mum and baby escape  but they were completely stuck in the deep, rapidly drying mud with no chance of getting out.

The brave and skilled SLCS team manages to slip a rope under the baby, narrowly avoiding mums thrashing trunk  -  and starts to haul her out .....

Nearly there - the whole team is hauling as hard as they can.....    But the baby is terribly frightened and won't leave mum's side

 

Again - she's out and we think we're almost there......   But despite my frantic waving and shouting - she won't leave her mum

One more try - the team pull her further away from mum this time.....  They unwrap the ropes and help her to her feet

This time - thanks to a young herd cousin calling her to safety..... she makes a dash for it as the rest of the herd scream for her to come to them

Now back to mum who is dehydrated and exhausted - we've been pouring water over her to try to protect her from the scorching midday sun. SLCS staff carefully slip a rope under her....

and the tractor starts to pull and pull - inching her out of what would have been a muddy grave  - she seems to sense that there's a chance of escape and begins to struggle for her life... 

With us all shouting encouragment and just willing her to keep going "come on Mama, come on Mama"....... to the delight of us all - she makes it! Weak and wobbly she drags herself out

This is all in a day’s work for the amazing Rachel McRobb and her outstanding team at The South Luangwa Conservation Society.

by Christina Carr, Norman Carr Safaris 

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