Young Elephant Rescued In Vietnam Given Another Shot At Life

A rescue team in Vietnam recently saved a 4-year-old wild elephant with an infected foot and injured trunk, giving the young animal another shot at life.

Joost Philippa, a veterinarian with animal welfare NGO Animals Asia traveled to central Vietnam's Dak Lak province, where the male elephant had been caught in a hunter's wire trap. He worked with experts from the Dak Lak Elephant Conservation Centre to treat the deep cut in the elephant's foot.

"A very large area of the foot was open, while a large abscess had broken the skin, and continued from the front to the back of the leg," Philippa said in a news release. "The hole in his trunk was a good 5 centimeters -- it had started to heal, and he was using it well despite the defect.”

The team partially sedated the elephant with a dart. The sedation provided pain relief while the vets worked, but allowed the elephant to remain standing.

With the elephant's weight supported by ropes, Philippa was able to cut away the dead flesh and clean its wounds. Officials at the Dak Lak Elephant Conservation Centre are monitoring the animal's recovery and will decide if it can return to the wild.

Asian elephants are considered endangered and only about 25,000 to 32,000 of them remain. Within Vietnam, thousands of wild elephants once roamed free but now there are fewer than 100.

All images courtesy of Animals Asia.



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