ALAPPUZHA: A temple elephant that jumped off the truck in which it was being transported back from a festival and got trapped in mire at Thuravoor near Alppuzha, was rescued after a herculean effort that lasted 16 hours.
The exhausted tusker, named Mullackal Balakrishnan, was pulled up from the swamp in a desperate rescue effort by personnel of several government agencies and over 30 mahouts at 8.00 pm on Tuesday.
Mullackal Balakrishnan had spent the better part of 16 hours trapped in the mire. It broke free of the truck taking it home when the driver stopped for tea at Valamangalam on NH 66 at about 3.30 am. It went on a rampage for about 6 km, destroying an autorickshaw, an electric post and the compound walls of several houses before straying into Ananthankari, a waterlogged area and got trapped in a mire of mud.
Additional district magistrate M K Kabir said rescuers were unable to maneouvre around the mire because of lagoons and bunds and tried to use ropes to heave up the trapped animal. After hours of making an effort to raise itself, Mullackal Balakrishnan began to weaken due to stress and the rescuers began to despair.
Finally, at about 8 pm, Bala made one final effort and was hauled up. He was quickly taken to an isolated spot and vets began administration of medicine to revive its strength.
Mullackal Balakrishnan was taken to the Thrikkakara Vamanamoorthi temple for the Thiruvonam festival and was being taken back when the incident occurred, police said. The elephant belongs to Alappuzha Mullackal Rajarajeswari temple under the Travancore Devaswom Board.