Eleven elephants have been saved from drowning after they were rescued from a flooded bomb crater at the weekend.
The animals were discovered almost fully submerged on a wildlife reserve in Cambodia on Friday, environment workers said.
Word was then passed to wildlife agency WCS whose members arrived the following day to dig a channel up the side of the crater so the animals could climb out.
Eleven elephants have been rescued from a flooded bomb crater in Cambodia after environment workers say they climbed in to drink and got stuck
Keo Sopheak, the head of Cambodia’s environmental office in eastern Mondulkiri province, said the animals had been trapped for three days before they were found.
He said the pack likely wandered into the 10ft deep hole in order to drink, but were then unable to get out again.
Rescue workers had to dig out the side of the pit, which was created by a blast during the country’s bloody civil war, by hand.
Water was also pumped into the pit to loosen the sludge and allow the huge animals to climb out safely.
The elephants were trapped in the pit for three days before they were found by a local, and it took another day before rescue workers could get there
Workers dug away one of the pit walls by hand and filled the hole with more water, loosening the muddy sludge and allowing the elephants to climb out
Video captured the moment the elephants were freed, trumpeting as they lumbered back into the surrounding jungle.
Losing 11 elephants, including three calves, would have been a devastating blow to Cambodia’s wildlife.
There are only thought to be a few hundred endangered Asian elephants left inside the country as populations fall due to habitat loss.