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Animal rescuers help lift sick elephant

When officials at the Howletts Wild Animal Park in Canterbury, England, could not help a collapsed elephant, even with a forklift, they called the Kent Fire and Rescue Service, according to the BBC.

Umna, the African elephant, became sick with colic, or abdominal pain, and collapsed onto her side.

"She was lying down in her bedroom on her right side and her left side appeared bloated," Neil Spooner, Howletts' animal director, told the news source. "It became immediately obvious to me that this was colic, a life-threatening condition. The main priority with colic is to get the animal up and moving."

The firefighters were more accustomed to saving animals like cattle and horses rather than elephants.

"We placed straps around the front of Umna's body and then used a winch to lift her legs into a 'begging' position. As soon as she was able to manage her own weight, we released the straps and she walked free," Ian West, a member of the animal rescue team, told the news outlet.

Umna, at 13-years-old, weighs about 2 tons.

According to the World Wildlife Foundation, full grown African elephants weigh about 6 tons and live up to about 70 years. Habitat loss due to growing human population is among the main problems facing African elephants.  
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