25th March – 2017 – Keo Siema Wildlife Sanctuary 

ELIE assisted the rescue of 11 of the most amazing wild elephants in the border area of Keo Siema Wildlife Sanctuary, from a horrible mud hole they were stuck in for a few days.

We got the call around lunch time with news of a baby ele, or maybe two, stuck in a well or pool and to please help. We rushed out our ele emergency team, today made up of Dept of Agriculture Vet Cheng Hie and Jemma Bullock, to see how we could help.

It turned out to be the whole family group that was stuck in a very sticky muddy pit. So we have spent the whole afternoon with members of the Cambodia Department of Environment, WCS Cambodia, WWF Cambodia and many many local community members trying to get them out. We were also on the phone to many other partners for advice and the guys from Wildlife Alliance were there as always with great tips.

This involved a massive effort of digging a ramp and escape channel, loading in branches and logs and roughage and cooling them down with a big hose and to also loosen the mud around them before the finally moved toward the exit. Finally… one after the other they stormed out of there. However, more drama struck when one little baby was left behind. So the rescue mission launched back into action. As a huge storm rolled in we attempted to rope the baby ele to safety. After many attempts and some heart-stopping moments, the little gal finally made it out and ran off to the safety of the forest and the herd!

This has just shown how unfortunately human deforestation and man-made structures can be a horrific problem for wild elephants that have used these areas for long periods before. The more forest we cut down the less space there is for these beautiful animals and they are forced out into the inhabited areas and newly cut farms.

The most amazing part of today was watching and helping to coordinate so many different people to come together and work tirelessly to save these special elephants!

Jemma Bullock- ELIE & EVP Programs Manager