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Wednesday, 13 March, 2002, 15:00 GMT
In pictures: Elephant's muddy ordeal
Elephants in Thailand were pampered with feasts of fruit on Wednesday at a festival celebrating Thai Elephant Day. But while other elephants munched watermelons, papayas, guavas and pineapples, one unlucky animal had a muddy ordeal.

The elephant lies in a muddy pond
The elephant, Plai Khun Pan, fell into a muddy pond outside the capital Bangkok where it was trapped for more than 20 hours.

Local villagers finally sent for help and rescue workers spent up to three hours to free the elephant...

A crane is used to pull out the elephant; keeper consoles the elephant once it is freed.
...even using a crane and earth-moving equipment to shift it from the sludge.

Elephant keeper Kong Sapmak, 36, rides on the elephant's back as it is hosed down.
The elephant emerged unscathed but needed a good hosing down.

Thai elephants eat tropical fruits during the feast to mark the Elephant Day
Meanwhile the other elephants were enjoying the party, with food donated by well-wishers.
See also:

06 Feb 01 | Asia-Pacific
'Tag Asian elephants' call
25 Apr 00 | Asia-Pacific
Lives of neglect and misery
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