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Elephant Rescued After Falling Into A Well In Indian Village

An elephant was rescued in southern India after falling into a well estimated at roughly 50-feet deep.
An elephant was rescued in southern India after falling into a well estimated at roughly 50-feet deep.

It took more than 12 hours, but an elephant in India's southern state of Tamil Nadu has been rescued after plunging into a well.

The elephant had wandered into the village of Dharmapuri from a nearby forest when it fell into the well, which an official for the Indian Forest Service estimated to be about 50 feet deep. The well did not have a barrier and had been obscured by bushes.

Locals from the village alerted authorities about the trapped animal early on Thursday. They dropped banana leaves down the well for the elephant to eat, as rescuers worked throughout the night to free it, the BBC reports.

Forest officials brought in a crane to retrieve the elephant. Footage of the rescue showed the elephant strapped in by belts and suspended upside down as the crane lifted it to safety. Doctors helped rescuers sedate the animal after it attacked pipes they were using to pump water out of the well, a district forest officer told Reuters.

The area where the rescue happened has had some experience saving trapped elephants. Two other elephants have fallen down wells in the past year, according to Reuters. Uncovered wells and ditches have posed a threat to the animals, noted Parveen Kaswan of the Indian Forest Service in a Twitter post on Thursday. The animals, he said, need expansive land to survive as they forage for food and water.

Authorities monitored the elephant for roughly three hours after the rescue. "It was found to be healthy and active," said the district forest officer, according to a Reuters report.

"Credits to the elephant also for her will," Kaswan said.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Lydia Massey