Rescue worker gives CPR to baby elephant in year's most unexpected act of pure heroism
Thailand rescue worker Mana Srivate was off-duty and on a road trip when he was called into action late Sunday. He was sent to a desolate road in the eastern province of Chanthaburi, Thailand to help an injured man and a baby elephant.
A family of elephants were crossing the road when the baby was struck by a motorcyclist, Anan Cherdsoongnern, 53.
When Srivate and fellow rescue workers arrived on the scene, several workers came to the aid of the downed motorcyclist, so he got to work on reviving the unconscious elephant.
Srivate was trained to work on humans, so he had to look up the location of an elephant's heart online to perform CPR. The rescue worker made his best guess on the elephant and then got to work, giving vigorous chest compressions.
"It's my instinct to save lives, but I was worried the whole time because I can hear the mother and other elephants calling for the baby," Srivate told Reuters. "I assumed where an elephant heart would be located based on human theory and a video clip I saw online.
Thai baby elephant hit by motorcycle survives after receiving CPRwww.youtube.com
Srivate worked on the elephant for 10 tense minutes until it regained consciousness. "When the baby elephant starting to move, I almost cried," he recalled. The elephant was removed from the scene and taken by workers for further treatment.
Later, it was returned to the scene of the accident where it was reunited with its mother. The rest of the pack rejoined them after hearing the mother cry out.
The motorcyclist walked away from the scene with only minor injuries.
News of the daring rescue comes at a time when there is growing optimism about Thailand's elephant population. A century ago, when the country was known as the Kingdom of Siam, there were approximately 100,000 pachyderms in the country.
Unfortunately, poaching and the illegal logging industry reduced the population so drastically they were placed on the endangered species list in 1986.
But according to Thailand's National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department (DNP), aggressive conservation efforts have been effective at increasing the country's elephant population. There was a 7% increase between 2002 and 2017, raising the number to somewhere between 3,500 and 4,000 elephants.
"The wild Thai elephant population is no longer at risk of extinction because of intensive care and monitoring," Soontorn Chayawattana, director of the Wildlife Conservation Office, announced.
"The increase in the number of elephants by 7% is cause for optimism as we expect the population of them in 10 years to increase even further. There could be 670 to 680 more elephants in the wild [in a decade]," said Soontorn. "The data from the latest census provides clearer information and helps us make plans to manage water and food resources better to provide for the more than 600 elephants that will be in the wild in future," he added.
So given the positive impact that conservation efforts have had in Thailand, it appears as though the baby elephant's future is bright.
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