Stranded baby elephants rescued by Thai rangers

Park rangers took five hours to dig out a path to save six elephant calves after they were found trapped in the pond. (AP)
Updated 30 March 2019

Stranded baby elephants rescued by Thai rangers

  • Patrolling rangers chanced upon the struggling herd in a national park east of Bangkok on Wednesday afternoon
  • Wild elephants are Thailand’s national animal and live in the wild in parts of the country

BANGKOK: Six baby elephants separated from their parents and trapped in a muddy pit for days have been rescued by park rangers in rural Thailand, officials said Saturday.
Patrolling rangers chanced upon the struggling herd in a national park east of Bangkok on Wednesday afternoon, park superintendent Prawatsart Chantheap told AFP.
Once the rangers realized the calves, aged between one and four years old, could not climb out of the dirty watering hole, some left the forest to bring back digging tools while others stayed overnight to keep watch over the frightened creatures.
“Our team arrived with hoes (on Thursday morning)... and we began to dig around the rim (of the mud pit) to make it less steep,” he said.
After three hours of digging to build a makeshift ramp, the mud-covered babies managed to stumble out of the pit one-by-one as the rangers cheered them on.
“Go, go, follow each other!” the rangers yelled in a video recorded by the national parks department. “Go, children, go!“
Prawatsart said the rangers had observed a herd of 30 adult elephants nearby and believed the young calves must have been separated from them.
“We believe they were stuck there for at least two days because after they got out their legs were weak,” he said.
Wild elephants are Thailand’s national animal and live in the wild in parts of the country but their numbers have dwindled to about 2,700 from a peak of over 100,000 in 1850.
Deforestation and habitat loss has brought them in closer contact with humans in recent decades, and they often clash with villagers and farmers.
Elephants are also poached or domesticated for entertainment and tourism.


Sheep take over streets of Madrid for annual migration

Updated 20 October 2019

Sheep take over streets of Madrid for annual migration

  • The annual event, which started in 1994, allows shepherds to exercise their right to use traditional routes to migrate their livestock
  • The herd includes 2,000 merino sheep and 100 goats

MADRID: Sheep replaced traffic on the streets of Madrid on Sunday as shepherds steered their flocks through the heart of the Spanish capital, following ancient migration routes.
The annual event, which started in 1994, allows shepherds to exercise their right to use traditional routes to migrate their livestock from northern Spain to more southerly pastures for winter grazing.
The route would have taken them through undeveloped countryside a few centuries ago, but today it cuts through Madrid’s bustling city center and along some of its most famous streets.
Sheep farmers pay a nominal charge in symbolic acknowledgement of a 1418 agreement with the city council that set a fee of 50 maravedis — medieval coins — per 1,000 sheep brought through the central Sol square and Gran Via street.
The herd includes 2,000 merino sheep and 100 goats.