TARA, the 15-year-old elephant, that caught the headlines on social and print media after being pulled from a canal in Phitsanulok province, arrived at an elephant hospital in Lampang province yesterday morning.
The male elephant’s hind legs were injured after it was swept away by floods and got stuck in the canal for about 26 hours.
A veterinarian said its chance of survival was 50-50 if he was unable to stand.
The journey from Phitsanulok to Lampang took about 10 hours. He was taken to Pang Mae Wang, a nature site, about one kilometre from the elephant hospital.
Tara appeared to be tired when he arrived at 5am. The vet team used two backhoes to lift him from the truck at 7am and the process was slow because of his weight and injured legs. The work ended at 10am.
Due to Tara’s condition, the vets used bunches of rice straws to support its rear and began giving it saline water.
Dr Taweepoke Taweepoke, a vet at the hospital, said that the team is now doing its best to enable the elephant to stand by itself again.
“The healing process is now starting but we cannot say when it will recover, depending on its response to the treatment. However, I’m quite worried because there is a chance of it suffering from bed sores and other effects,” the doctor said.
The team used an ultrasound machine to check the elephant’s injuries.
Phoppapob Lunparat, director of the National Elephant Centre, said that he was confident the hospital was ready with the equipment and doctors to take care of the elephant.
He called for moral support from everyone.
The elephant was named Tara, or water in Thai, as it was found in the canal.
Local villagers spotted the elephant in the canal on Wednesday morning and rescuers spent about 26 hours before being able to pull it from the canal. It could not stand on its feet because of its leg injuries.
A large number of Facebook users and other social media platforms wrote to give moral support.