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“Rescue elephants” save 16 tourists stranded after a landslide in Thailand

September 12, 2013, 13:48 UTC+3
Brave beasts cross torrential stream while younger elephants scared to cross it
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Photo EPA/ BAGUS INDAHONO

Photo EPA/ BAGUS INDAHONO

BANGKOK, September 12. (Itar-Tass) – A team of “rescue elephants” on the Thai Phuket Island saved 16 tourists, leading them out of a jungle after they were cut off by a landslide.

Representatives of the local rescue service announced that the incident happened Wednesday in the northern part of the island. A group of tourists went on an elephant ride deep into the jungle; after the ride was over, travelers could not return back to civilization: torrential rain caused a landslide, blocking roads. Elephants used for the jungle excursion refused to take an alternative route despite best efforts of their handlers. One rescue worker said; “Young elephants were scared to cross a stream which was in the way. Due to heavy showers its flow was too fast.”

After finding out about the incident, rescue workers rode four older elephants, who had no problems dealing with the elements. Tourists were picked up and returned to safety; meanwhile handlers had to stay in the jungle with their overly cautious pets. Only next morning the stream was calm enough for the rest of the elephants to cross it without hesitation. 

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