Operation on to rescue elephant calf from 70-ft-deep well (Coimbatore, India)


Times of India

Date Published

Efforts are on to rescue a 10-year-old male elephant calf that fell
into a well at Periyanaickenpalayam near Govanur late on Tuesday.
Forest officials began the rescue operation on Wednesday morning, but
due to the depth of the well and the aggressive behaviour of the calf
it could not be completed by Wednesday night. Many wild elephants also
began entering the area after dark.

Villagers at Palamalai and Thirumaallur saw hectic activity around 10
am on Wednesday when forest officers and media began descending on the
area and trekking deep into a spot which is covered with the invasive
karuvelam trees. When they found out that it was an operation to
rescue an elephant calf, the public too began trekking to the spot to
get a glimpse of the elephant and click pictures.

Forest officers who were patrolling the area around Thirumallur, which
sees heavy wild elephant movement after dark, heard the cries of an
animal in distress on Tuesday evening. A couple of hours later, they
found an elephant calf fallen inside a deep well. “They informed other
forest rangers on Wednesday, after which we reached the spot at around
10 am and began rescue operations,” said Periyanaickenpalayam forest
ranger Palanivel Raja.

The forest officers said the depth of the well was delaying
operations. “The well, which is deep inside a forest land owned by a
farmer named Soundarajan, is 70 ft deep. The well as such is 45 ft
deep, and but there is a sand pit around it which is 30 ft deep,” said
Raja. “We are now trying to pour a lot of water into the sand pit to
make an incline so we can drive a rescue vehicle to the spot where the
sand pit starts,” he said. “It will take another 12 hours,” he said on
Wednesday night.

Meanwhile, the calf was being fed water and fruits along with
medicines hidden inside jackfruits to ensure the animal is well-fed,
hydrated and has energy, said Raja. They hope to complete the
operation by Thursday morning.