BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand’s Mana Srivate has performed dozens of resuscitation attempts in his 26 years as a rescue worker, but never before on an elephant.
Mana was called into action while off duty on a road trip late on Sunday, successfully reviving a baby elephant struck by a motorcycle while crossing a road with a group of wild pachyderms in the eastern province of Chanthaburi.
In a video that went viral on social media in Thailand on Monday, Mana is seen giving two-handed compressions to a small elephant lying on its side as colleagues a few metres away treat a dazed and injured motorcycle rider on the floor.
Both the rider and elephant were recovering and neither had serious injuries.
“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 by phone.
“I assumed where an elephant heart would be located based on human theory and a video clip I saw online,” he said.
“When the baby elephant starting to move, I almost cried.”
The elephant stood up after about 10 minutes and was taken to another location for treatment, before being returned to the scene of the accident in the hope of being reunited with its mother.
The elephants soon returned when the mother heard her baby calling out, Mana said.
Despite having dealt with dozens of road traffic accidents involving humans, Mana said the elephant was the only victim he had managed to revive while performing Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
(Reporting by Jiraporn Kuhakan; Writing by Martin Petty, editing by Ed Osmond)