An injured baby elephant was rescued after getting trapped in a hunter’s snare in Thailand.
The two-month-old calf was found stuck in a pond near a rubber plantation in Chanthaburi province on November 28.
Wildlife rescues were alerted to the animal and arrived at the scene to find the jumbo with rope from a wild boar trap cutting into its ankle. The thorny rope was wrapped so tightly that it was ripping into the creature’s skin.
The team also found marks that looked like seven gunshots on the baby elephant’s left front leg – raising fears that a hunter had opened fire.
Specialists cut off the noose on the jumbo’s leg and used ropes to hoist it onto dry land. It was then transferred to a pickup truck and taken to a park ranger station where it received medical attention from veterinarians.
Due to the severity of its wounds, the jumbo was kept at the station overnight before being released.
National park officials are now monitoring the elephant – which they named Fah Rak – and working with police to identify what had caused the marks on the elephant’s left front leg.
Rescue team member Virut Kadkeaw said: ‘We are not sure if the baby elephant’s wound is infected or not. The vet is monitoring its condition.
‘Police are also checking whether the marks were gunshots. Villagers have been instructed to stay clear of the area as the mother elephant could be walking around and may become violent if it gets overprotective.’
Meanwhile, Thailand’s Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation urged the public not to use such snare traps, which can be deadly to wildlife in protected areas.
Thailand has an estimated 2,000 Asian elephants living in the wild but there is often conflict when they come into contact with humans on roads and in villages. A similar number of elephants are kept captive where they work in zoos and are hired out for religious festivals and weddings.