Animals often suffer accidents in the wild. For instance, they may become trapped and face painful, lingering deaths. In many cases, it can be relatively easy to rescue them. Deers and elks, for example, can get trapped in ice lakes. Unable to free themselves, they may suffer horrendously until they die due to hypothermia, shock, organ failure, exhaustion, drowning, starvation, being eaten by predators, or as a consequence of injuries they incur as they struggle to break free. Many cases have been documented of rescues of animals from these kinds of situations, such as the following:
Other animals in cold latitudes may end up being lost on pieces of ice floating around far from the coast, stranded until the ice melts and they drown or die of hypothermia in the freezing waters. Sometimes in these situations animals can be helped, such as in this case:
There are documented cases of rescues of animals trapped in mud ponds. This happens especially to big animals such as elephants. In those situations they could drown or be slowly eaten alive by other animals. One notorious case has been documented in which a baby elephant was eaten alive by hyenas in a situation in which it would have been perfectly feasible to save the elephant. There are many examples of cases in which the animals were rescued:
Birds, even those who can fly, can become trapped in mud. But, again, they can often be saved:
There are many other situations in which animals can become trapped. In some cases, this may mean life or death for these animals:1
Cetacea such as dolphins or whales can sometimes become disorientated and end up stranded on beaches. In such situations it’s almost inevitable that the animals will die. Moreover, traditionally, when they were trapped in this way without any possible means of defending themselves, humans would often hack them to pieces for their flesh and blubber. Recently, however, attitudes towards cetacea have changed, and in some cases human beings do help them. And, although not always, we sometimes succeed in saving their lives. These are some examples of such cases:
In other cases, they can become trapped by sea ice, yet have in some cases been rescued:
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1 It is interesting to note that although when many people think of trapped animals they may think at first about so-called companion animals, we can see that those living in the wild need assistance much more often. And this is so even if we just consider cases in which we can intervene and help. The following link shows this nicely: Suffolk: Livestock tops fire service animal rescue list.