5 min read

Elephant Dying In Snare Trap Had No Idea Who Was Coming To Help Him

<p>Frank Weitzer/Cluny Wildlife Trust<br></p>

We may never know how long he was lying there, but we do know that help came just in time.

Warning: Graphic images below

An elephant was found in Malawi's Liwonde National Park completely debilitated by a snare trap digging into the flesh of his foot.

Frank Weitzer/Cluny Wildlife Trust

Frank Weitzer/Cluny Wildlife Trust

But people were not going to let him die: Rescuers rushed to the scene to help the desperate elephant.

Amanda Harwood/Lilongwe Wildlife Trust

Amanda Harwood/Lilongwe Wildlife Trust

Veterinarian Amanda Salb of Lilongwe Wildlife Trust and Derek Macpherson of Cluny Wildlife Trust teamed up with the Rhino Protection Team and African Parks scouts to tranquilize the suffering animal and remove the gory snare. Then they set to healing the wound it had left.

Amanda Harwood/Lilongwe Wildlife Trust

Amanda Harwood/Lilongwe Wildlife Trust

"The whole procedure went extremely well," Salb told The Dodo. "Although the wound was really deep, we're all so pleased that we were able to remove the snare entirely and give him the required treatment." Key to the success of an operation like this, she added, is the teamwork across organizations in Malawi, "[It] gives us the ability to respond to emergencies like this."

Amanda Harwood/Lilongwe Wildlife Trust

Amanda Harwood/Lilongwe Wildlife Trust

The elephant will continue to be monitored by African Parks scouts and the Rhino Protection Team, and if he needs any further treatment Salb and her team will be on call.

Amanda Harwood/Lilongwe Wildlife Trust

Amanda Harwood/Lilongwe Wildlife Trust

"It's always devastating to see the dreadful damage these snares can do to such a big animal," the Lilongwe Wildlife Centre wrote on its Facebook page. "This poor elephant must have been in a lot of pain."

Frank Weitzer/Cluny Wildlife Trust

Frank Weitzer/Cluny Wildlife Trust

But the pain seems to be already melting away. Two days after his rescue, the elephant was spotted at the watering hole with his herd. "[He was] bathing normally and seemed bright," Salb said.

Amanda Harwood/Lilongwe Wildlife Trust

Amanda Harwood/Lilongwe Wildlife Trust

Hunters set snare traps with aims to kill smaller wild animals than elephants, which can decimate animal populations at an unsustainable rate, according to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT). Just 1,000 of these snares can capture 18,250 animals in a year - even elephants, whose population is already plummeting because of the ivory trade.

People voiced their reactions online to this particular elephant's brush with a snare trap. "Humans the only species to demonstrate such 'inhumanity', we should be ashamed," one Facebook commenter wrote.

"So Thankful there are people like you with such BIG Hearts & KNOWLEDGE to go in & take Care of these injured animals after Man has HURT THEM," another added.

We echo that. Learn how you can help the Lilongwe Wildlife Trust here.

Read about another amazing elephant rescue here.