Elephant, calf rescued from 5m-deep hole (video)

BANGKOK, 28 Feb 2023:

An elephant and her calf were rescued yesterday, a day after falling into a 5m-deep hole in the western Thai province of Kanchanaburi.

Travelling with a herd of some 10 pachyderms, the elephants fell down a sinkhole near Lam Khlong Ngu National Park in the northeastern part of Kanchanaburi, the park posted on its Facebook page.

Thai authorities asked the public to keep away from the area over fears of the herd’s reaction, but the rescue mission unfolded successfully without any incidents.

Park employees and residents of the area used an excavator to help the elephant and her baby get out of the hole and return to their herd, the park reported.

In 2019, 11 elephants died in a plunge from the top of a waterfall in Khao Yai, an incident some activists blamed on human-induced loss of pachyderm habitat.

According to animal protection groups, some 3,000 wild elephants now live in Thailand’s forests – which face rampant deforestation – compared to the 300,000 pachyderms that roamed the country over a century ago.

In the past, thousands of elephants were used in the logging industry. But when it was banned in 1989, the mammals started be used in entertainment activities for tourists.