Truckers Help Thirsty 3-Week-Old Elephant Found On Roadside And Take Detour To Ensure She's Safe

Jun 02, 2021 by apost team

A group of truck drivers was driving through Botswana in the spring of 2017 when they came upon a baby elephant in need. The drivers gave the thirsty elephant water and even transported her to a nearby elephant sanctuary.

It was a typical day on the job for these South African truck drivers until they stumbled upon a downed bridge, which blocked their path, according to The Dodo. The drivers stopped to assess the situation when a shy baby elephant appeared. Without her mother or fellow elephant pack, she was completely alone and helpless. Fortunately, the drivers noticed that the approximately 3-week-old elephant seemed thirsty, so they let the baby animal drink nearly 30 liters from their water bottles, which they recorded on video.

But this heroic band of truck drivers didn’t want to just leave the baby elephant on the side of the road without food, water and a family, so the drivers decided to go one step further. They loaded the young elephant into their truck, and, in a clear detour from their route, they delivered her to the Elephant Sands sanctuary in Botswana, as The Dodo reports. According to one expert, that was exactly the right thing to do.

"Baby elephants are notoriously fragile," Paul Oxton, director of Wild Heart Wildlife Foundation, told The Dodo. "Even if she's treated very well and appears to be strong at first, it might still be a long road before it can be claimed that she has fully recovered."

With their help and willingness to put an animal’s life above their job, these truck drivers might have saved this three-week-old animal’s life.

Be sure to reach the end of this article to see the full video :-) 

Beyond simply being abandoned, elephants, which have seen their numbers dwindle over the years, are also increasingly at risk for ivory poaching and displacement due to habitat loss, according to National Geographic. In fact, in the 15 African countries surveyed in one report, 144,000 elephants have disappeared due to habitat loss and poaching in the past decade. But thanks to the truck drivers’ decision to take the baby elephant to a sanctuary, she should be relatively safe. Oxton also attested to Botswana’s relative success in its animal conservation efforts. 

“In our opinion, Botswana as a whole has one of the most remarkable, ethical and compassionate wildlife conservation strategies in the world," Oxton said in his interview with The Dodo. Oxton added that he trusts that the baby elephant will get “the very best treatment and care possible.”

Although Botswana is home to relatively few people with a population of just over 2 million, it is home to an incredible number of majestic wild animals, including elephants. In fact, over 130,000 elephants call the country home, which is more elephants in one place than any other country on the planet, according to NPR.

In an update from The Dodo, the elephant — a baby no more at around 3 years old — is reportedly doing quite well now after being transferred from Elephant Sands to another sanctuary, Elephants Without Borders — all thanks to a couple of good samaritans.

Chantelle Beyleveld, a friend of the drivers who initially posted the video, wrote in an email to The Dodo that she wanted to “show the people that truckers also have a heart and will go out of their way to help.”

In a similar story out of Thailand, a man was able to resuscitate a baby elephant after it was struck by a vehicle while trying to cross the road in December 2020. Mana Srivate has worked as a first responder for 26 years, according to Reuters. The baby elephant was traveling with a group of adult elephants in the eastern province of Chanthaburi when it was hit by a motorcycle. The motorcyclist was not seriously injured, but the baby elephant was unconscious when Srivate arrived on the scene.

As the man performed CPR on the injured elephant, he could hear the nearby elephants. Srivate told  Reuters, "It's my instinct to save lives, but I was worried the whole time because I can hear the mother and other elephants calling for the baby." If the mother elephant saw a human with her injured baby, then the situation could become even more dangerous.

This was the first time Srivate had performed CPR on an elephant, so he had to think quickly about what to do. "I assumed where an elephant heart would be located based on human theory and a video clip I saw online,” he said in the same interview from December 2020. There was tension while Srivate performed CPR and listened for the approaching adult elephants.

Thankfully, all of Srivate’s efforts were successful. "When the baby elephant started to move, I almost cried," he confessed. It is a miracle this man reacted so quickly and with the correct response to a life-threatening situation. Fortunately, both the man and the elephant are safe, and the baby made it back to its mother. As these stories show, we can rest assured that good samaritans are looking out for these majestic creatures

Would you stop to help an animal on the side of the road? Let us know what you thought about this heroic story, and pass it on to your friends and family members.

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