An elephant toddler rescued from a cesspool pit in a Bueng Kan village on Saturday is safe and sound – and waiting for its herd to return and reclaim it.
The herd came looking for the lost juvenile on Friday night, tearing up a house. Only later did the homeowner find it stuck in the two-metre-deep hole he’d dug earlier.
“We’ve put it in an open pen at the edge of the forest where the herd will easily find it,” said Thaweep Khamphaengnua, chief of the Phu Wua Wildlife Sanctuary.
The calf is believed to be eight to 12 months old and weighs about 80 kilograms.
Sutee Wongjanta, 62, found it in the hole he’d dug for a cesspool after his house was already completely flattened by frantic adult elephants searching for the baby.
“I was resting inside my home at about 8pm on Friday when I heard elephants approaching and start hammering on my toilet,” he said. “I got scared and ran for my life”.
When he returned on Saturday morning, he found his house collapsed, the corrugated-iron roof, water vats and a cart tossed around.
“They even uprooted trees,” Sutee said.
And then he heard the squeals of an elephant infant and discovered the calf in the bottom of the pit. He could only assume the herd had been searching for it.
“I called my village head and the Phu Wua Wildlife Sanctuary and they pulled the baby out,” he said.