11 endangered wild elephants rescued from mud in Cambodia

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) " Eleven endangered wild elephants were rescued in Cambodia on Saturday, four days after getting stuck in a 3-meter-deep mud hole, officials said.

The animals were rescued in northeastern Mondulkiri province, home to about 250 wild elephants, said Wildlife Alliance official Botumroat Lebun.

The chief of Mondulkiri's environment department, Keo Sopheak, who headed the rescue team, said the elephants apparently got stuck in the mud when they went to drink water at a 3-meter-deep (10-foot-deep) hole that was left over from U.S. bombing during the Vietnam War.

After being rescued, the elephants were sent back to the jungle where they normally live, Keo Sopheak said.

He said if local villagers had not reported the incident, the elephants would have died from thirst and starvation.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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