Man Hears Odd Noise From Abandoned Mine Before Realizing The Truth

Massive pythons, vicious crocodiles, and spiders the size of your face — oh, my! Australia may be a country of gorgeous red Outback and stunning white sand beaches, but more than a handful of creepy crawlies and less-than-friendly critters make the country the home of the planet’s scariest animals.

Which made the situation all the more dangerous when one wildlife expert got word of an odd sound coming from the bottom of an abandoned mine shaft. Nevertheless, he immediately went to scope out the scene, and what he saw had him springing into action; he had to do something — and fast.

When an optimistic gold prospector was out searching near the central Victorian town of Vaughan, he heard an odd noise that sounded like a wild animal. Curious, he tried to find out where it was coming from.

As he moved closer to the perturbed cries, he realized they were echoing from the bottom of a 36-foot-deep mine shaft. He immediately notified Wildlife Victoria of the situation and gave the team an accurate location.

Caveman / Flickr

Manfred Zabinskas of Five Freedoms Animal Rescue sped over to save whatever was making the helpless sound. With the help of local rescuers Del and Bruce, Manfred was ready to go down the pit.

Jane Cowan / ABC News

Considering the call was made later in the day as the sun was setting, the rescue was going to be an even harder feat than Manfred and his little team previously thought. The sky was getting darker and darker by the minute.

@kdarke / Twitter

But as they approached, rescuers discovered the source of the noise. “With the aid of bright torches, we could see the kangaroo laying down in a cramped position with little room to move,” wrote Five Freedoms Animal Rescue in a Facebook post.

Five Freedoms Animal Recue / Facebook

“There was nothing to break the fall, and the kangaroo would almost certainly have suffered serious injury such as spinal damage, a fractured pelvis or broken legs,” the post continued. Every move to rescue her had to be a delicate one.

Five Freedoms Animal Recue / Facebook

As to not further hurt or stress out the marsupial, Manfred planned to sedate her before bringing her up to ground level. He carefully shot the kangaroo with a tranquilizer gun, but was stunned when the animal didn’t react at all.

Five Freedoms Animal Recue / Facebook

“Even after the dart hit, the kangaroo didn’t attempt to stand up, which was a worry, and that told me she was either very weak or potentially injured,” Manfred told to Yahoo News Australia.

Though the team was worried about the state of the poor mammal, they didn’t have time to think about it. The second the roo fell asleep, Manfred embarked on his journey down the narrow, fragile hole. But when Manfred made it to the bottom, fear struck him.

Five Freedoms Animal Recue / Facebook

“There was a hollow sound from under my feet and I realised that the floor of the shaft wasn’t solid. Several sticks had wedged across the shaft which were covered in dirt and debris, but it was hollow underneath,” he explained.

“I had to be extra careful as a collapse of the floor would spell death for the kangaroo. At least I was safely suspended on my rope. There wasn’t enough room to bend over to place the kangaroo into my bag,” he continued.

Five Freedoms Animal Recue / Facebook

It was literally a matter of life or death for the kangaroo, who was balancing on haphazardly placed sticks and rubble. Nevertheless, Manfred worked to bring the kangaroo to the surface, reminded of his “age and lack of fitness” as he struggled.

Five Freedoms Animal Recue / Facebook

With all his might, Manfred successfully lifted the animal out of the pit. After examining her vitals, particularly to see if she was dehydrated or suffering from any respiratory issues, Manfred deemed her state “miraculous,” all things considered. Then, he noticed a curious detail.

Five Freedoms Animal Recue / Facebook

Amazingly, Manfred actually rescued two kangaroos in the process. Spoiler alert: she had a little joey in her pouch! Manfred took the mama roo and her growing baby to his home to allow them to fully recover.

“She recovered from the sedation, had a drink, sniffed some grass and it wasn’t long before she was hopping around her lounge room and jumping over furniture,” Manfred said of the rescued kangaroo’s seamless recovery at his home.

Five Freedoms Animal Recue / Facebook

“We quickly carried her down to our kangaroo enclosure where she would have more space to hop and less chance to destroy our furnishings. In the enclosure, she hopped lap after lap, and it was obvious that she was in excellent condition,” the animal rescue detailed.

Five Freedoms Animal Recue / Facebook

Soon enough, Manfred and Bruce decided it was time to bring the healthy mother back to her habitat, making sure to drop her off a few hundred meters from the deadly open pit. They watched her happily graze and were pleased at how robust the mother roo seemed to be.

Five Freedoms Animal Recue / Facebook

And though this was a beautiful sight, the whole ordeal shouldn’t have even happened. Manfred and other activists have pushed the government to take action regarding Australia’s slew of empty mine shafts, which pose a threat to small children and animals.

Dylan Burns

“We dread that one day a child will fall down and get seriously injured and maybe then the government will start taking it more seriously,” Manfred said. He continued to highlight the fact that these dangerous holes have taken hundreds of thousands of wild animals.

Kate Healy

“… a lot of people criticize that we’ve gone to this much effort and risk to save one kangaroo, but when you consider our losses in Australia, every life is precious and I think they deserve all the effort we can give them,” Manfred explained.

Herald Sun

Though Manfred and the rest of the Five Freedoms Animal Rescue were called in to come and rescue the desperate kangaroo, other times the helpless animals are practically dropped on the doorsteps of animal rescue organizations… literally.

Jane Cowan

In Pittsboro, North Carolina, volunteers, caretakers, and cat rescuers alike have dealt with just about every manner of feline on the planet. When it came to cats, they thought they’d seen it all. However, one phone call quickly changed all that.

Donna Hailson

It was late April 2009 when a mysterious woman phoned the tiger rescue. She didn’t provide a name or an address. She simply stated that “her friend” had a problem: she had an animal she couldn’t take care of anymore.

Stefan Kowalewski

This friend’s pet, the woman on the phone continued, was too aggressive. It wasn’t coexisting well in her friend’s household, and she wanted to donate the problem animal to the rescue. But this wasn’t such an easy offer to accept for the folks at the rescue center…

My Time to Travel

See, Carolina Tiger Rescue had just taken on two new tigers. As far as room and board went, accommodations were looking pretty tight. What was more: all donations had to be approved by the curator, who wasn’t at the facility at that time.

The Knot

Carolina Tiger Rescue’s phone operator passed along the curator’s information, but they remained skeptical that they could help this woman’s friend. That made what happened the next morning all the more unexpected…

When the rescue staff arrived the next morning, “we found [the animal] on our doorstep in a dog crate with a note attached,” Jessika Morgan, communications coordinator for the rescue, explained.

The note explained the animal’s previous home life and ended with this sign-off: “Love me tender. Elvis.” Inside the crate was the “Elvis” in question…

Elvis was a serval, a medium-sized cat indigenous to Africa that’s known for its acute sense of hearing and impressive vertical leap. Obviously, life cooped in a house was not suitable for poor Elvis – no matter how much love he received.

Simply put, Elvis “became too large and too aggressive for his owner to handle,” Jessika said. “It’s not his fault, he’s a wildcat with wildcat instincts. We found a way to make it work; we couldn’t turn him away.”

The story of Elvis the serval didn’t end at the doorstep, however. In fact, it was only just beginning. Soon, his routine medical checkups revealed some disturbing truths about his past…

First off, Elvis was malnourished. Worse, he’d been forced to wear a collar he’d long outgrown. His flesh had grown around it, embedding it into his neck, forcing veterinarians to surgically remove it. The cat bore other disturbing signs, too.

Brutal scars peppered the serval’s forehead. One team member offered a guess at their origin, writing on their website, “We believe the scars came from him constantly rubbing his face on the crate.”

For who knows how long, Elvis lived inside that tiny crate, likely because he’d become aggressive towards his owners. When Carolina Tiger Rescue first released him, he just walked in circles for hours.

With a weak, aggressive, and once-cooped up serval now in their care, the volunteers got straight to work rehabilitating the poor guy. It all started with a hearty diet, which the serval was consistently happy to scarf down.

Carolina Tiger Rescue / YouTube

With plenty of food in his system and lots of toys to play with, Elvis began to regain his strength. But an important question remained: how would he respond to the rescue’s guests? He couldn’t be kept in isolation forever…

Carolina Tiger Rescue / YouTube

Amazingly, just like his megastar namesake, people loved Elvis the serval! “Elvis can be very social,” the Carolina Tiger Rescue team wrote. “[He] will often come up to the fence to greet tour guests and volunteers.”

Carolina Tiger Rescue / Facebook

Though Elvis eventually became a favorite on tours, the cat was still a work in progress. If he felt threatened, he wasn’t afraid to hiss or growl or show his teeth. Nevertheless, all was going well for the cat… until late spring 2016.

Carolina Tiger Rescue / Facebook

At that point, Elvis was about nine years old and had been living at the rescue for seven years when caretakers realized he wasn’t putting any weight on his rear leg. Even from a distance, they could tell that he’d broken it.

Carolina Tiger Rescue

The rescue’s team loaded Elvis into the car and brought him to a Raleigh, North Carolina, veterinarian who took X-rays of the cat’s knee. Sure enough, he’d fractured it in nearly 12 different places. But how? And what was to be done?

Carolina Tiger Rescue

The news devastated his caretakers. How had this happened? They checked his enclosure and there was no evidence of an accident. Likewise, his leg bore no obvious sign of external trauma. Still, something drastic had to be done…

Carolina Tiger Rescue

And so it was that Elvis, the cat who had once mysteriously appeared on the rescue’s doorstep, became the three-legged cat. Amazingly, however, even this handicap couldn’t slow him down.

Carolina Tiger Rescue

“Elvis lives happily on our tour path,” Jessika, the communications director, said recently. He was “still able to run and jump up onto his platforms.” Still, while their serval loved attention, the rescue team believed he was the poster cat for a much larger problem…

Carolina Tiger Rescue

“Many of our servals were former pets,” Jessika said. “Elvis’ story speaks to that and what we believe: these animals should not be pets.” Carolina Tiger Rescue’s website echoed that sentiment. “Animals such as Elvis deserve to be respected as the wild animals they are.”

Carolina Tiger Rescue / YouTube

In Elvis’s adopted home state of North Carolina, it is still legal for residents to own wild animals as pets, putting other felines like him—and the families who own them—at tremendous risk.

It’s scary to think what might have become of Elvis the serval had his owner not left him on the doorstep. In the end, at least he was able to make the best of his situation— even if he was doing it on three legs!

Carolina Tiger Rescue / YouTube

Waking up in the morning to find an injured animal waiting on the doorstep like the Carolina Tiger Rescue crew did can be terrifying. Luckily, Elvis made an impressive recovery, but not every story is one fit for a king.

On January 28, 2018, a man named Alexey Khaideyev tried leaving his home—only to realize that he couldn’t move his front door. Try as he might, it simply wouldn’t budge. Something seemed to be blocking his way…

Alexey lived in a remote part of the world on the edge of a Siberian village called Solontsovy. There, you’ll find plenty of snow and incredible wildlife. Mysterious door jams, however, weren’t so common.

Alexey’s neighbor Galina said, “He wanted to go out to the yard, but his door was pressed by ‘someone’ from outside.” Through a crack in the door, he could hear something strange…

It sounded like a low growling. Alexey took a peek outside—and he was immediately shocked. There, right outside his front door, was a fully grown Siberian tiger! How the heck did she get there?

A scared Alexey quickly retreated back indoors and made an emergency call to the Ministry of Natural Resources of Khabarovsk to see if they could help. Since Siberian roads are especially bad in the winter, the rescue team was slow to arrive…

“The tiger spent all the day on Alexey’s porch until the emergency team arrived,” said Galina. Thankfully, the rescuers were able to tranquilize the big cat and examine her. They found that she was 10 years old and actually had a few major health issues.

The Siberian Times

Unlike other Siberian tigers, this one on Alexey’s porch didn’t have any front teeth. She suffered from serious gum infections, which likely made it difficult for her to eat—hence the exhaustion. How could they help?

The rescue team had no time to waste; they began their urgent care while transporting the big cat to the nearby Amur Tiger Center. It was the only place that could save her.

Amur Tiger Center

The team first checked her for gunshot wounds or knife gashes—any kind of sign that she’d been hunted—but there were none. She was very malnourished, which unfortunately indicated a sad truth…

The Siberian Times

Had this tiger sought out Alexey’s neighborhood out of desperation? Rescuers speculated she had. Director of the Amur Tiger Center, Sergey Aramilev, said, “The tigress behaved absolutely peacefully, as if she was waiting for human help.”

However, the tiger began behaving like a wild animal once they reached their destination. Sergey said, “The animal, though she came for help, will not allow us to approach her.” She may not have had teeth, but she still had claws!

Sergey elaborated on just how complicated that made matters: “In her current physical condition, it is deadly to put her under an anesthetic; yet without this, it is impossible to carry out ‘active’ treatment.” So, what could they do?

East 2 West News via Metro

As if the stakes couldn’t get any higher, the tiger was part of a dying breed—only about 500 Siberian tigers existed in Eastern Russia, according to The Siberian Times. As a female, she was an essential part of any effort to help carry on her species’ survival.

The rescue workers had to resort to desperate measures. Despite the dangers of anesthetics, medics applied sedatives remotely, allowing them to get close to the tiger if need be. Then, they crossed their fingers…

The Siberian Times

“We really hope that the tigress will pick herself up and survive,” Sergey said. “For our part, we are doing everything possible.” Then, rescue workers witnessed what they thought was a major breakthrough in recovery.

They offered the tiger antibiotic-laced mashed meat. Previously, she wasn’t able to consume solid food, but now she suddenly decided it was time to attempt to eat meat again. Had she made the ultimate turnaround?

Sadly, it wasn’t a sustained success, and in early February, the tiger once again stopped eating. “She was in a hopeless state,” said Viktor Kuzmenko, another executive at the rescue center. “There was no fat on her.”

“Age and illnesses took over,” Viktor added sadly. The illness had “natural origins,” and though veterinarians did everything they could, it just wasn’t enough. In the end, it was something she would have to beat on her own.

Sadly, on February 10—just two weeks after the weak tiger was found on Alexey’s doorstep—the animal couldn’t fight any longer, and she passed away at the rescue center. “Nothing could have saved her,” Viktor said.

Amur Tiger Centre

Since tiger preservation has become a priority worldwide in recent years, the species’ numbers have steadily climbed. Still, it’s terribly sad that this tiger was unable to survive. It only further proves that we need to do everything we can to save these beautiful animals!

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