Pashu Sandesh, 22nd June 2018
It was a nightmare of sorts for the villagers near Kadambur in Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve (STR). Villagers heard roar of elephants at around 1.30am Wednesday the 20th June and saw three female elephants, one of them a four-year-old calf, fell into a nearly 20ft-deep abandoned well. According to officials, the elephant herd had strayed into Kanakundur village in Kondappanaickenpalayam forest beat on Tuesday night. The calf, they said, might have first fell into the open well at Gurusamy Thottam area and the remaining two elephants, aged about 26 and 15, might have jumped into it with an intention to save the calf.
The villagers at first tried to rescue the Elephants on their own, failing which they called the Forest officials. A team of officials, comprising district forest officer P G Arunlal, ranger S Bernad, veterinary officer Dr K Asokan and anti-poaching watchers reached the spot with a earthmover.
“The elephant calf might have fell into the well, which was covered by thick vegetation, due to lack of visibility and the remaining two jumped into it to rescue the calf,” Asokan said, adding, “It was a challenging task for us to rescue the trio.”
Using the earthmover officials dug a channel leading up to the well which prompted the Elder Elephants to push the calf and then hauling themselves to the safety following the channel. All the three animals then disappeared into the jungle.
As per Dr Asokan the animals were safe during the ordeal because of the presence of water in the well which prevented any untoward injury during fall and subsequent rescue. He also added that this probably the first time when three elephants were rescued simultaneously from a well. It took nearly six hours for the officials to complete the rescue.