The spectacular rescue of 11 Asian Elephants from a swamp inside the Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary, at Mondulkiri Province, Cambodia, was conceived as a miracle. “If the community had not come together with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), ELIE and the Department of Environment to rescue these 11 Asian Elephants, this would have been a tragedy,” said Tan Setha, WCS Technical Advisor.
“This herd consisted of three adult females and eight juveniles of various ages, including a male that had almost reached maturity. These elephants represent an important part of the breeding population in Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary, and their loss would have been a major blow to conservation,” she added.
The mud hole where the elephants were trapped was a bomb crater left over from the Vietnam War that had been enlarged by farmers to store water. When local farmers discovered the elephants they notified the Department of Environment, who in turn notified WCS who were able to mobilize a rescue.