Mana Srivate didn’t know what to expect when he started using the rescue tactic on an injured baby elephant last week after the animal was struck by a motorbike on a road in Thailand. The elephant was crossing the road with its herd when the collision happened.
Mana was on a road trip through the eastern province of Chantaburi when he witnessed the crash late Sunday. The off-duty rescue worker immediately sprang into action, rushing over to the injured elephant while others tended to the dazed rider.
Mana says he’s provided CPR to dozens of traffic accident victims over his 26 years on the job, but he’s never successfully revived any humans — and he’d certainly never used CPR on an animal.
Nevertheless, he gave it a try.
Video from the scene shows Mana giving the elephant two-handed chest compressions while others stand back and watch.
“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,” Mana told Reuters. “I assumed where an elephant heart would be located based on human theory and a video clip I saw online.”
Mana worked tirelessly at the scene while witnesses captured his efforts on video. The elephant eventually got back on its feet after 10 minutes.
“When the baby elephant started to move, I almost cried,” he said.
Several rescuers loaded the elephant into a truck for additional treatment, then later returned it to the scene and released it back into the wild.
The calf’s mother was waiting for it when it came back, Mana said. Mother and child were reunited, and together they stomped off into the darkness.
The motorcycle rider was not seriously injured.
—With files from Reuters