This is the incredible moment a baby elephant was flown in the back of a four-seater plane to escape from poachers who slaughtered its entire family.
The young orphan, named Max, was rescued after 100 other elephants, including its relatives, were killed by poachers between Chad and Cameroon in Central Africa.
It was squeezed into the back of the small aircraft alongside Gary Roberts, an American nurse and missionary, before being flown to Mr Roberts’s house for medical treatment.
Footage shows the 353lb elephant waving its trunk around as it sits in the plane, before gripping a bottle of water in its jaws.
‘With an animal that size, you can feel its weight shifting in the aircraft,’ Mr Roberts later told BBC News.
Unfortunately, Max died just a few days after his ordeal in March 2013 as a result of his traumatic experience and the cow’s milk he was fed in a village before being rescued.
Social media users have deemed the video ‘heartbreaking’ with many condemning the poachers for their ‘massacre’ of the baby elephants’ family.
One wrote: ‘A sad story of genuine humans giving it all to try and save the only survivor of poachers’ massacre.’ Another added: ‘How sad that the elephant died after all that effort.’
Original article by Sophie Jane Evans for Mail Online September 2014.
African elephant species now Endangered and Critically Endangered – IUCN Red List
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