Here is a story of a fiercely protective mother elephant looking out for her young one while it was in distress. This is also the story of quick and compassionate action by forest officials.
A one-and-a-half year old elephant calf that fell into a non-fenced well on the Tamil Nadu- Karnataka border reserve forest area was rescued promptly by forest officials.
The baby elephant accidentally fell into the unused 15-feet-deep well located near Cauvery north sanctuary in Ulipenda reserve forest area. Heavy growth of bushes all around the well led to the elephant calf trampling upon it and falling into the well.
“Lack of visibility might have led to the fall,” AK Ulaganathan, district forest officer (DFO), Krishnagiri district said.
According to him, the mother and baby were probably scouting the forests for water to quench their thirst.
“The elephant and the calf may had come in search of water in the forest when he fell inside the well at around 7.30am on Friday morning,” the DFO said.
The officer rushed to the spot with his team of forest officials comprising of assistant conservator of forest K Anand, division officer S Sukumar, forester K Selvaraj and anti-poaching watchers led by DFO Ulaganathan in order to rescue the calf.
Their first task was to ensure that the mother was sent away from the scene which was not an easy thing to do with her protective and possessive maternal instincts coming into play. The adult elephant prevented the officials from getting near the fallen calf. They finally used crackers and tom-toms to chase the mother away.
To help the calf out of the well, they built a ramp-like structure by digging a slope into the well. Since the well had only 5 feet of water, digging a slope was safe. Later the calf was checked for injuries and reunited with its mother.
“The elephant didn’t have any signs of injuries and was taken back to the jungle and reunited with its mother, Ulaganathan said.
According to Mr.Ulaganathan incidents of elephants falling into wells were rare but were known to have occurred in the past across the Tamil Nadu reserve forest.