Sticky Situation – hunters charged after rescuing baby elephant
A group of hunters got themselves into a sticky situation when rescuing a baby elephant from the mud.
After discovering the trapped youngster the buffalo hunters decided to turn their hand to conservation.
But after hauling the elephant to its feet again with a rope they were forced to turn and flee when the stressed animal shaped up to charge them.
Fortunately the rescuers were able to get out of the way before they or the elephant was hurt.
Professional photo guide Norman Crooks was accompanying the group in Chirundu, Zimbabwe, when they discovered the baby.
He said: “A member of the National Parks and Wildlife went out on a game drive with conservation students and discovered an elephant , less than three-years-old, stuck in the mud a couple of hundred metres away.
“Her mother was standing nearby, and was exhausted as she had been trying to get the youngster out all night.
“As soon as the group arrived she charged them, and they pulled back and radioed our hunting camp for help.
“We immediately abandoned our buffalo hunt and went to help, as I know from experience that when animals get stuck they do not last long.
“In the direct sunlight it is 42 degrees at this time of year, and the sunlight and the stress of the struggle can quickly take their toll.
“When I arrived with other from the hunting camp we found the elephant bogged down in the mud, with the mother nowhere to be found.
“The first thing to do was pour water over the youngster to cool him off, which seemed to revive him.
“He was quite aggressive and lunged at us with his trunk, but eventually we managed to get a rope underneath him.
“We attached a rope to a winch on our jeep and started pulling, and slowly but surely he came out.
“After two or three pulls he was out and up, and all hell broke loose. The young bull charged us immediately.
“Fortunately the rope slackened and came off and he was free to join a nearby herd of elephants.
“We checked the next day and he was reunited with his mother and a little sister.
“It was a happy ending and we were all on a bit of a high.”