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Elephant calf being rescued from mud
© Bumi Hills Foundation

Incredible footage of an elephant calf being rescued from the mud in Zimbabwe last year has been shared by the Bumi Hills Foundation. The rescue took place in August 2018, but the edited footage has only now become available.

According to the Bumi Hills Foundation, they were alerted to the calf’s plight by a local fisherman. The calf, a young female, had become firmly stuck in the mud (one of the hazards of a slowly receding lake level) and her mother refused point blank to leave.

The mother had cleverly positioned herself over her baby so that at least she could feed – but both mother and calf were not in good shape. The team believe that they had been there for about two days.

The mother was highly stressed and had attempted to try and dig the calf out herself. The rescue team decided to sedate the mother, and it took a while before the sedative took effect – due to all the adrenaline in her system.

Elephant calf being rescued from mud
© Bumi Hills Foundation

There was risk of the mother falling on the calf or going down in the water and drowning, and the rest of the herd defending the mother and her baby, but thankfully the operation ended well. The calf was freed, and both mother and calf wandered off together to rejoin the herd after all the drama had subsided!

The successful rescue was a combined effort of the Bumi Hills Anti Poaching Unit (BHAPU), members of the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA), Ume Croc Farm, Zimbabwe’s Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (PWLMA) , Rhino Safari Camp and Carbon Green Africa.

WATCH: The incredible rescue of the elephant calf (© Bumi Hills Foundation)

Baby elephant rescue

Elephants are notorious for getting themselves stuck in sticky, glutinous mud – and this baby learnt the hard way how very dangerous it can be! The devotion and tenacity of the mother for her calf left us all in no doubt (if ever there was any) of the deep bonds that tie all elephant families – and in particular mothers and their calves.This footage was captured on one our scouts' cell phones, and kindly edited for us by Plain Sight.This was a team effort – thank you to all who helped to get this baby on her way – @Bumi Hills Anti Poaching Unit (BHAPU), members of the ZNA, Ume Croc Farm, PWLMA , Rhino Safari Camp and Carbon Green Africa.Properly protecting and caring for these elephant is a tough yet rewarding job – and we couldn't do it without your support – click this link to donate – even $5 helps!

Gepostet von Bumi Hills Foundation am Freitag, 5. Juli 2019


The Bumi Hills Foundation is a non-profit organisation based on the beautiful shore of Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe. Dedicated to the conservation of wildlife through active anti-poaching and the empowerment of the community through conservation-based efforts.

In 2009, the Bumi Hills Anti Poaching Unit (BHAPU) was formed to combat the issues of diminishing wildlife and environmental degradation due to heavy poaching, illegal fishing and unmitigated human strain on the land and water. In March 2016 the Bumi Hills Foundation Trust was founded, incorporating BHAPU, to help achieve long-term sustainable conservation in our region in northern Zimbabwe.

Not only does anti-poaching form an important part of our work, but so does wildlife management and rescue, and, where required, feeding schemes. An example of this was our “Starvation Island” project last year. Due to unprecedented very high lake levels in 2018, animals trapped on islands with no graze were slowly starving to death. We launched a public appeal and were able to provide game pellets and hay over a 4-month period to save these animals. Although we lost a percentage (mainly the very young and the old) we were still able to save the majority who would otherwise have perished.

Being self-funded, we are perennially short of money – so every little helps! To make a donation to the Bumi Hills Foundation, click here:


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