Rescue Worker Saves Baby Elephant Hit by Motorcycle With CPR

The rescue worker had never performed CPR on an elephant before.
Derya Ozdemir

A fateful night has changed the lives of a little baby elephant and a rescue worker: In a wholesome turn of events, rescue worker Mana Srivate saved the life of a young Indian elephant (Elephas maximus indicus) after it was hit by a motorcycle while trying to cross a road in the eastern Thai province of Chanthaburi.

The news went viral in Thailand on Monday after a video showing the rescue worker giving Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to the baby elephant lying on its side in the middle of a dark road.

The rescue worker had to assume where the elephant's heart was

In the video, it can be seen that Srivate is giving two-handed compressions to the elephant as other rescue workers treat the injured motorcycle rider.

Srivate told Reuters that he came across the accident scene on Sunday evening while off duty on a road trip.

"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 explained in a phone call.

While he has performed numerous resuscitation attempts in his 26 years as a rescue worker, he had never performed it on an elephant, he said. "I assumed where an elephant heart would be located based on human theory and a video clip I saw online. When the baby elephant starting to move, I almost cried."

After 10 minutes of CPR, the baby elephant was able to stand up. It was then taken to be treated in another site. 

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Once it was apparent that the elephant was fine, it was returned to the accident site in the hope of finding its mother. When the mother heard her baby calling out, she and other elephants returned to the site to collect the baby.

This case is especially special for Srivate since even though he has dealt with numerous accidents involving humans, the baby elephant is the only victim he managed to save with CPR. With the baby elephant reunited with its family, this story is certainly one of the rare feel-good stories to come out of 2020.

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