KOCHI: The officers from the Forest Department with the help of local people rescued a 10-month-old female elephant, which accidentally fell into an open well at Manikandanchal under Kuttampuzha forest range near Pooyamkutty on Thursday. According to Kuttampuzha range officer S Rajan, a herd of around 15 elephants crossed the river and entered the farmland of Tholkudy Sudarshan on Wednesday night.
As the baby elephant fell into the well, the herd gathered around the well and tried to rescue it. The residents of the locality were woken up as the elephants went on a rampage and started trumpeting. On information a team from the Kuttampuzha range office rushed to the spot. However, the efforts of the locals and forest officers to drive away the elephants failed. The herd moved to the nearby forest by around 7 am and the authorities deployed an earth mover to rescue the elephant.
The earth mover dug one side of the well creating a ramp for the animal to escape. After a five-hour struggle, the baby elephant wriggled and climbed out of the well at around 11.30 am. It crossed the river and entered the forest to join the herd, which was waiting impatiently around 500 m from the spot. Though the elephant had sustained bruises on its trunk as it fell into the well, the Forest veterinary doctor Fiji Fernandes said it was healthy.
Meanwhile, a team of forest staff, including a guard and four watchers, had a tough time as they were caught in front of the herd while trying to guide the baby elephant to the herd. The staff climbed up tall trees and were made to stay atop the trees for two hours before the herd withdrew to the wild. Deputy Ranger Bency Lal, Forester K P Ramesh and officer Anas, Anwar Sadiq and P V Suresh led the rescue operation.