An articulated loader crane from Italian manufacturer Fassi Gru was instrumental in a project to help transport a group of endangered forest elephants from Ivory Coast, Africa.
The forest elephants inhabit central and western Africa and are hunted and killed by farmers and poachers. To help save them, the elephants were moved to a national park 250 miles away from the area.
The rescue project was organised by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW). A team from IFAW went into the jungle near the city of Daloa where they found an elephant and quickly anaesthetised it. The elephant was then lifted using a 60 tonne-metre Fassi crane onto an articulated trailer.
Andre Uys, IFAW team member, said, “In these circumstances, there is no other way to capture these enormous animals. We usually use helicopters to identify and anaesthetise elephants, but it’s impossible when these animals are hiding in the forest.”
Neil Greenwood, IFAW team member added, “The risk involved by capturing the elephants in the forest is extremely high because they are very quiet and might take us by surprise.”
Céline Sissler-Bienvenu, IFAW mission director, said, “Forest elephants are the national emblem of the Ivory Coast. This is why local residents have collaborated at the request of the Ivorian authorities. If we are to save these elephants from extinction, we need to act now, during the dry season. This rescue mission will resolve a huge animal conservation problem and will contribute to the peaceful coexistence between man and the animal habitat.”