HOPE (ARK) STAR, Printed by Offset Saturday, May 18,191 , If' ;V > V r RUNK., WILL TRAV n the rugged hill country of South Vietnam, the machines of man are often unable to do work necessary for the Well-being of many villages. At Tra Bong, 60 miles south of Oa Nang, cut timber for a Special Forces detachment lumber mill was unable, via conventional means, to be mcved from a nearby hill because of terrain conditions. To solve the problem, Green Beret Captain John S. Gantt, Cross City, Fla,, together with veterinarian Captain George McCahan, Jr., Dauphin, Pa., and First Lt. Frank Orlans, Grand Rapids, Mich., scoured the countryside until 200 miles to the south at a village near Ban Me Thuot in the Central Highlands, they found two available elephants capable of moving the lumber. To transport the nine-year-old creatures across enemy-infested territory, the men placed both animals on Individual cargo nets. Then, using 3/1 experimental drug,M-99 (Etorpbine), they "shot" both pachyderms with a dart, knocking them unconscious. Wrapped within the nets, the drugged elephants were placed on individual steel pallets, strapped and chained down and a cover taped over their eyes for protection. For the first phase, both were loaded into a C-130 cargo plane and flown to Chu Lai Air Base, 20 miles from Tra Bong. The pallets, with their sleeping cargo, were then airlifted the remaining distance by helicopter,- At Tra Bong, the elephants were uncovered and, with a helping heave by Green Beret troopers, uprighted to be led oft fatworj^to the cheers of local MoRtagwrd (mountain tribesmen) villagers: 4* A •***-.. *p<f MMM* n ft i i /•% IJ -""""""'""—- " - • mmmm mmmnnv .i.u.lUii... '".', mjtt- » ^HiMHHk.-%, gapt. George McCahan, Jr., prepares to shoot a drug-carrying dart into one elephant. Captain John Gantt signals for the lift truck to slowly raise the cargo net. Eyes covered, the elephant is secured to the pallet. Qn a pallet and eteurmj, one pachyderm is brought into the C-i30 cargo plane. A Green Beret member at Tra Bong helps one elephant to its feet. Capt. John Gantt leads the elephant, mahout-style, before Montagnard villagers.
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