Watch: Dramatic rescue of elephants trapped in well by villagers, forest officials in Tamil Nadu’s Erode
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Watch: Dramatic rescue of elephants trapped in well by villagers, forest officials in Tamil Nadu’s Erode

Three elephants, including a calf, were rescued from a 60-foot deep well by villagers and forest department officials on Wednesday morning, hours after they fell into it in Erode district of Tamil Nadu.

tamil nadu Updated: Jun 21, 2018 12:08 IST
Hindustan Times, Chennai
rescue,elephants,villagers
The video of the rescue, which shows the mother elephant repeatedly goading her calf to scale up the slippery well, has gone viral on social media. The villagers and forest officials erupted in joy as the second elephant, a five-year-old calf, walked out of the well.(Video grab)

Three elephants, including a calf, were rescued from a 60-foot deep well by villagers and forest department officials on Wednesday morning, hours after they fell into it in Erode district of Tamil Nadu.

The villagers who heard the elephants trumpeting alerted the officials at 4am and subsequently men and machine were mobilised to help the jumbos walk out of the well.

“It took almost three hours for the officials to excavate the earth for about 15 foot. A veterinarian was also consulted about tranquilising the pachyderms but a few villagers and local forest guards suggested the conventional method of creating a slope to the well, which worked out,” an official, who was part of the rescue operation, said.

The video of the rescue, which shows the mother elephant repeatedly goading her calf to scale up the slippery well, has gone viral on social media. The villagers and forest officials erupted in joy as the second elephant, a five-year-old calf, walked out of the well.

“Initially, it was painful to watch the jumbos struggling in the well but eventually it was splendid to watch the elephants marching back into the wild,” one of the forest official, who followed the elephants deep into the Sathyamamangalam jungle, told the Hindustan Times.

“The calf is slightly dehydrated and all the three are moving together and they have started eating grass,” the official added.

Sathyamangalam district forest officer PG Arunlal said the three elephants are believed to be a part of a herd and were in the age group of 18, 15 and 5.

“A team of anti-poaching watchers have been asked to follow the pachyderms into the forest. Once, when the animals stabilise they will be allowed to settle free in the sprawling Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve,” Arunlal said.

“Luckily, the pit was large and elephants due their buoyancy sustained the three-hour struggle. There were no injuries to the elephants,” wildlife biologist A Kumaraguru said.

All irrigation wells located in the fringes of forests should be converted into percolation ponds with slopes so that there is no threat for wild animals that stray in search of water, Kumaraguru, member, Sathyamangalam Tiger Conservation Authority, said.

Sathyamangalam forests sandwiched between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka is a home to tigers and elephants. There are about 30,000 elephants in the wild and are an endangered species. India has lost vast swathes of forests to urbanisation in recent decades, forcing the animals into human-occupied zones.

First Published: Jun 21, 2018 11:45 IST