Jumbo effort to rescue elephants

Six baby elephants separated from their herd and trapped in a pit for days were rescued by park rangers in rural Thailand last Thursday.

The calves were found by rangers in a dirty watering hole in Thap Lan National Park last Wednesday.

The elephants climbed up to safety the next day after rangers dug for three hours to build a makeshift ramp for them.

Park rangers believe that the calves belong to a herd of 30 adult elephants that was observed nearby.

Thai elephants are the country's national animal and live in the wild in parts of the kingdom, but their numbers have dwindled to about 2,700 from a peak of more than 100,000 in 1850.

Deforestation and habitat loss have 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.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 02, 2019, with the headline 'Jumbo effort to rescue elephants'. Print Edition | Subscribe