Amboseli elephant rescue video

Oct 15th, 2006, 12:09 PM
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Amboseli elephant rescue video

If anyone is interested, the video is uploaded. Go to:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...t+rescue&hl=en

I apologize for the length. I wanted to be sure to get the whole thing so that the Kenyan men would be able to see themselves.

We tried uploading this four times and finally re-exported it as a WMD file and it did lose clarity. The shaking was my fault because I did not have a tripod with me and I was cold and excited.

With young people like this volunteering to help their wildlife, there is still hope for African wildlife.

Jan
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Oct 15th, 2006, 03:43 PM
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Great film of an exhilarating experience. Thanks.
unaS is offline  
Oct 15th, 2006, 06:03 PM
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Thanks for sharing, Jan. I rarely have the patience to view online video, amateur or pro, but this was different...watched every second of it.

John
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Oct 15th, 2006, 06:58 PM
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Glad you enjoyed viewing it.
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Oct 15th, 2006, 07:03 PM
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That was wonderful Jan. I'm so happy that that poor beast finally got out. Did she have any injuries? Any idea how long she had been there prior to your arrival? Do you think she knew she was being helped - lots of questions, if you don't mind.
Thanks for posting;
Sherry
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Oct 16th, 2006, 02:08 AM
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sherry:

"She" had been there at least all day. Was spotted during the early morning game drive. The experts went out shortly after but couldn't find her. Then when we went out at 4 we spotted her and directed the experts to her.

We were standing just across the stream from her. She was exhausted when we got there, just lying quietly. Every time she would try to move a bit we would clap and yell "good girl - try again - come on - you can do it". She would try again and then lie still when exhausted.

After the men arrived and started helping she still knew they were helping. Every once in awhile she would trumpet, but never tried to strike out with her trunk at the men.

As soon as "she" got out it was discovered it was a young bull of about 18 years ago.

He did limp a bit running off but otherwise seemed alright.

The other elephants that had been near the mired elephant walked off a little bit in the distance but stayed until the rescue. They too understood people were trying to help.

It was indeed another thrilling event for me. There were 7 lions in the bushes nearby her and 10 hyenas across the road, so if the men hadn't gotten "her" out she would have been dead by morning.

It was so wonderful seeing these young men volunteer their time to help this elephant rather than the spearing, poison-arrowing, etc. that I often see. There still is hope for wildlife when you have caring young people like this.

Jan
arrowing.
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Oct 16th, 2006, 03:52 AM
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Oh how I love elephants.
It does my heart good to know such caring people exist. Perhaps there is hope after all - such a beautiful story.
I'm guessing that this happens often enough that the lions know enough to hang around - true?
Best;
Sherry
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Oct 16th, 2006, 05:29 AM
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Thanks, its a riveting video, but I'll make the point I made on another post, and one that hasn't been made in this post. But, to me, national parks should, for the very most part, be left wild with minimal interference, and prey shouldn't be rescued, even if its such a charismatic animal as an elephant. If an elephant gets stuck in a mudhole, to me, that elephant should either extricate itself or get eaten by the predators. Nonetheless, stunning video, but I, and this may seem cold-hearted, would prefer to have seen nature take its course.

Maybe an animal ambulance should drive around Amboseli rescuing all sick and injured animals and allowing the lions, cheetahs and hyenas to starve.

To me, intereference is inappropriate in almost all instances where man has not directly caused the problem (e.g., snare, getting stuck in a fence, etc.).

Michael
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Oct 16th, 2006, 05:45 AM
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Yup, cold hearted, particularly when you consider that an elephant is not the usual feed for lions and hyenas. They would have picked the ele to death slowly. You should be made to stay and watch, perhaps you would think differently.

So your saying that if man had created that hole, it have then be ok to interfere - that's just as selective - no?
My 2 cents;
Sherry
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Oct 16th, 2006, 06:57 AM
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First, I believe that there are places where lions prey on elephants, and while elephants may not be the typical prey, it is not unknown for lions to eat elephants -- I'm sure there are many elephants that get stuck in mudholes, but are not rescued, and end up being eaten.

And, yes, I draw the line (and its not a brightline, since lots of instances would be questionable) at human interference, so if the elephant had fallen and gotten stuck in a man made mudhole, I wouldn't find the rescue as objectionable. When I was in Kafunta, in Zambia, they were darting a small elephant to remove a snare from his leg, and to me, and we all have our own standards, that was not objectionable (however, if the elephant had broken his leg while running, I would have found it objectionable if an ambulance drove up and put him in a sling).

And, this will seem callous, but I found the documentary where the lions hunted elephants intriguing, and as disgusting as it may be, I would watch the lions devour the elephant, just as I've watched lions eat wildebeasts and zebras.

Sherry, would you countenance the rescue of a wildebeast from a mudhole knowing that if it wasn't rescued, it would be picked to death by lions and hyenas?

But, and to be a bit illogical, I also wouldn't find it objectionable if man interfered to save a rare species (and I would have no problem if they pulled a black rhino from the mudhole).
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Oct 16th, 2006, 09:17 AM
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Your far more clinical and analytical than me, Michael.

You do make it sound as though man (humans the most dangerous preditors) are NOT part of nature. We are, always have and will be.

There are often times when a preditor does decide for some unknown reason to not devour or even help an injured animal- why should we be different? No hard and fast rules here.

If the past poaching Africans now decide to come along and help a stuck elephant - who are we to say that's a bad thing - dig? I say that's remarkable progress.

To answer your abstract wildebeeste question, no I don't think I would care as much but then again wildies are already lion food. An elephant generally is not but would have been in this elephant's situation. Those lions and hyenas weren't hanging around for entertainment.

I guess we can agree to disagree on this one.
Most respectfully;
Sherry
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Oct 16th, 2006, 11:07 AM
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I found my own reaction to this quite interesting. I'm actually with thit_cho on the question of human interference, yet I see Sherry's point of view. I found the elephant rescue to be somewhat uplifting (pun not intended), the reason why I watched the whole thing. Yet, if I'd been there and my guide had said, 'let nature take its course', I would have accepted that without much regret...just as I've accepted many other incidents on safari. The one which stands out in my mind most of all are the lionesses in Botswana which had their paws burned in a bushfire which may or may not have been lit by people back in 2000. The lionesses survived but couldn't hunt for weeks; consequently their milk dried up and all 14 of their cubs starved to death. I guess the concession owners had to assume the fire had been started naturally by lightning (or is fire-lighting by farmers, practised for centuries, a natural event?) Anyway, they did not interfere...they and their clients over a period of many days watched the slow deaths of the cubs. Of course, I've considered the possibility that it would have been very difficult and expensive to mount a rescue operation for such a large pride in a remote area.

Sherry's point about man's being part of nature raises interesting questions. Another event: lions kill a staff member inside a safari camp (Botswana again). Wildlife authorities step in and shoot some of the lions, apparently destroying the pride and, it's been argued, altering the predator balance of the area. Personally, I would have let the lions be, and merely stepped up camp security because I'd regard the staff member's death as a natural event. But it's human nature to avenge fellow humans or remove a threat.

Oops, sorry for climbing on the soapbox...an attack of insomnia dragged me to the PC

John
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Oct 16th, 2006, 04:05 PM
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Sherry, Michael and John:

I appreciate hearing your points of view and am trying to find what I think about it all.

My personal opinion is that had the elephant been on fours, able to run away or defend itself it wouldn't have bothered me if the hyenas and lions attacked. Where it had no way of defending itself or getting away I would hate to have seen the results, just as I hated reading of the Kenyans who were chopping the meat off an trapped elephant that was still alive.

Finding that the rescued animal was a bull elephant was even better because there are now only 3 older breeding bulls left in Amboseli. Hopefully this guy will one day join in the ranks of breeders.

Most, but not all, of the problems with wildlife in Amboseli and Tsavo are due to human interference, and in that situation I wholeheartedly agree with help being given to the stricken animal.

Ambo and Tsavo don't have an ambulance but do have a vet who cares for the animals in both parks - again usually the result of humans. However, I can think of one case where you would probably have said "hands off" and yet it made such a difference. One of the matriarchs in Tsavo had a tusk that completely curved around and created a hole in her trunk that became infected. It was a simple matter for the vet to dart her, saw off the portion of the tusk embedded in the
trunk, pack the hole with antibiotic and wake her up. Thus she and her two calves lived.

And at the risk of being called anthropomorphic, elephants are closer to humans than many other animals. They do seem to understand caring given them by humans. The researchers told me of a case of a bull elephant who had been speared in the leg. The vet had had to treat him twice, and then he disappeared and it wasn't know whether he was alive or dead. Months later the bull approached the researchers vehicle, looked right at them and kept touching the scar with his trunk as though to say "thanks, its all better now" and then ambled away.

Thanks again though, you've given me food for thought.
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Oct 16th, 2006, 04:55 PM
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Jan, excellent points -- no easy answers to complicated, ethical questions.
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Oct 16th, 2006, 05:36 PM
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"Most, but not all, of the problems with wildlife in Amboseli and Tsavo are due to human interference, and in that situation I wholeheartedly agree with help being given to the stricken animal"- Jan.

That certainly makes it easier to decide one's attitude in a particular case...some areas have reached the point where human interference is self-perpetuating and probably becomes absolutely necessary.

John
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Oct 17th, 2006, 02:23 AM
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John:

Must admit I'm not sure what you mean by "human interference is self-perpetuating and probably becomes absolutely necessary". If you are referring to people trying to save their lives or gardens I would agree.

However, in Tsavo the snaring going on for the bushmeat trade is completely out of control. This is not getting an animal "for the pot" but widespread snaring for commercial purposes. I have seen the "snare room" at Sheldrick Trust and it breaks your heart to read of several poachers with the bodies of 60 dik dik! No animal is safe from these people. Five dead giraffe were found hanging by their necks from trees with snares that had been set. Many elephants have been found with trunks cut by snares and legs with snares around them. Whenever an animal is viewed with a snare in the park, the vet tries to dart it and treat the wound and infection. When you know the numbers of animals that are killed by humans, it is a thrill to see any animal saved for the future of that country's future.

If I misunderstood you, I apologize.

Jan

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Oct 17th, 2006, 04:33 AM
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Jan,

No need to apologise.

I meant human interference in any form, good or bad, innocent or sinister. I may be wrong, but I believe that the more it goes on, the more it breeds further human interference...until you get to the point where it is considered necessary to interfere to ensure the wildlife of an area is preserved. You end up with what I would call a zoo, rather than a genuine wilderness. The 'desirable' rescue of the bogged young bull elephant in an area which seems to have a shortage of mature males is just one example.

It seems to me to be vital that the safari industry keeps its own version of human interference to a bare minimum. I think some sectors of the industry recognise this, and specialise in low-impact operations.

John
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Oct 17th, 2006, 06:00 AM
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John,
I respectfully disagree with your statement regarding that any human intervention will only perpetuate into only negative consequences. Is that what you're saying? If so, I feel that that's such a black and white attitude. I feel there are many gray areas and one has to deal with these issues case by case. Some of these have already been brought up in this thread i.e. breeding bull elephants.

I think your underestimating the intelligence of most parties involved. It is my hope that those involved in conserving wildlife and conservation areas may be considering the land,the local people and the wildlife. There's just too much involved and too many concerns for us who are not present or involved with these communities to put the gavel down without knowing all the relevant agendas and facts.
Up to 6 cents now;
Sherry
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Oct 17th, 2006, 12:26 PM
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Jan, thanks for sharing your film. I enjoyed every second of it.
I agree and disagree with everyone.
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Oct 17th, 2006, 02:53 PM
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Nyamera:

Glad you enjoyed it.

The one thing we on this forum can all agree on is we all love Africa and its wildlife.

Jan
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