Along with the apes, cetaceans, horses, and dogs, elephants are among the smartest creatures on our planet.
They have worked alongside humans for thousands of years, helping us build civilization in construction roles and as comrades in arms in times of conflict.
We just found a story about a baby Asian elephant that get separated from its mother and stumbled into a farmer’s trap. The trap was set to protect their crops from the giant beasts, but it wound up costing the poor little elephant a leg. But there is a happy ending to this story, thanks to dedicated wildlife conservationists, and you are going to love this story about the elephant who can swim.
About three months ago, the people of a small village in Thailand discovered a wounded baby elephant wandering around alone. It was hobbled by a farmer’s trap, laid to protect his crops, and the scared tot had become separated from its mother.
They rushed the animal to a veterinary hospital some hours away, where doctors wound up having to amputate its left forelimb. After a brief recovery period, she was delivered to a local zoo.
Caregivers have named the baby elephant “Clear Sky Up Ahead, because that is what she will need while she is with us,” said zoo director Kampon Tansacha.
Now, she is learning to walk again using a prosthetic leg and hydrotherapy. To help strengthen her leg muscles, caregivers take her into a pool to learn how to swim and support her own weight.
One of her veterinarian named Patel explains “She is still a bit nervous and scared of the water. But is she can do this regularly she will have fun. By her fourth or fifth session, she will enjoy swimming more. She’s just a baby, that’s why she’s a bit scared at first but, by nature, elephants love the water.”
The animal still has three or four months of hydrotherapy left during her extended rehabilitation, but doctors are very enthusiastic about her prospects of someday being able to walk without the prosthesis.
We thought elephants were so interesting we decided to look a little closer at these magnificent beasts, and you’d be surprised what we found out.
Asian Elephants like Clear Sky are a separate genus from their African cousins, and have three distinct subspecies, The Sri Lankan, Sumatran, and Indian.
While they are smaller than the African elephants, they are still the largest land mammals in Asia, with adult females growing to be over seven feet at the shoulder and weighing in at around three tons.
Since 1986 the Asian Elephant has been classified as endangered, due to loss of habitat and poaching.
Humans and elephants have been living and working together since at least the third century BC, when there are the first records of captive elephants being used in the Indus River Valley Civilization.
Asian elephants are not technically a domesticated species like horses or dogs, but can be captured and trained to perform heavy labor like brush clearing and overland transport of materials.
Did you know that elephants can swim? Is Clear Sky the cutest animal baby you have seen all week? Share your ideas with us here.