Elephant calf falls into 40-ft well, rescued after late-night bid

Elephant calf falls into 40-ft well, rescued after late-night bid

Thrissur: A baby elephant that had fallen into a well of a resort at Athirappilly in Kerala's Thrissur district was rescued after more than five hours of rescue efforts.

The little jumbo had fallen into the 40-ft well in the evening after the concrete slab on top of it gave away. The rescue operations were completed by 1 am on Tuesday.

The elephant did not suffer any injuries in the incident.

Cry for help

The trumpet of elephants resonates during the night in Athirappilly near the forested areas of Thrissur district in Kerala. However, during the daytime, such sounds are rarely heard. So, the resort workers were baffled to hear an elephant's cry of distress during the day. They traced it to a well behind the resort and noticed that one part of the concrete slab had broken.

They immediately informed the forest office, and Athirappilly forest ranger Mohammed Rafi and team rushed to the resort.

The resort workers noticed that the elephant did not appear to be injured.

The officers and the resort workers then contemplated on how to take the jumbo out of the well. They had to be careful to avoid land slip. The earth-mover was brought in. They first put some soil into the one side of the well so that the elephant can stand properly and then began to create a passage.

However, by then the sun began to set, hampering the rescue efforts. They also had to deal with another impending danger. Herds of elephants generally pass through the region and they would be alerted if the little tusker continued its trumpet. The whole area was lit up and people were assigned to check if any herd was moving in the resort’s direction.

After around 5.5 hours, the work on the passage from the well was completed and the little jumbo was taken out. The moment it was taken out of the well, the jumbo ran away into the forest.

Last year, the forest department had carried out a unique rescue operation to save an elephant that had crossed the river at Athirappilly and got above the rocks. When the Peringalkutthu dam was opened, the water in the river rose and the elephant was stranded. The forest department then requested the KSEB to temporarily lower the dam shutters so as to facilitate the elephant’s rescue. During the 20 minutes allotted by the KSEB, the forest department carried out the rescue efforts and the tusker could return to the forest.

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