As East Africa continues to suffer from drought, decreasing supplies can have unanticipated consequences for wildlife.
Two elephants were stranded in Kenya last September as a result of low water levels at a dam near the Tanzanian border. According to a statement made by the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, elephants explore drying dams in quest of water.
According to Africa Times, after one slip, they find themselves in a hazardous situation after becoming permanently entangled in the muck.
The elephants fell and are unable to stand, which wildlife experts describe as an all-too-common occurrence. They went on to say that without assistance, it becomes a death trap.
Fortunately, Wildlife Works, a Kenyan community-based conservation organization, received a film of the two elephants shortly after they were spotted.
The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust was approached for helicopter backup, and the Kenya Wildlife Service was dispatched to investigate.
Rescue workers were able to extract one female elephant, reported to be in her teens, after digging into the mud and laying bands beneath her.
She was then able to stand on her own after being removed by an automobile.
The second elephant, perhaps eight years old, was even more difficult to liberate, but once free, she ran into the woods.
According to the Kenya-based foundation, if the drought continues, these situations will reoccur.
They stated that the crew was back in action just a few days after a similar event in August, when they saved a very valuable pair from the same muddy trap.