Forest officials dug around the 12-foot-deep well, enabling animal to climb out

An elephant that fell into a 12-foot-deep open well at Kanakpur village in the State’s Purulia district was rescued by forest officials on Sunday.

The 10-year-old male was part of a migrating herd from the Dolma forests in Jharkhand and is believed to have fallen into the well during the night.

The trapped animal was found by villagers in the early hours, divisional forest officer Ajay Das told The Hindu over telephone. Officials rushed to the spot and began digging up the area around the well, Mr. Das said.

After about an hour’s digging, the elephant was able to climb out on its ownwithout the help of kumkis (trained elephants), often used in situations involving wild elephants, or cranes and ropes.

“Once the elephant was rescued, veterinary doctors examined the animal and, finding him fit, released him into the forest area,” he said.

Mr. Das said incidents of elephants falling into wells were certainly not common but had occurred in the past. The forests of the Jangalmahal region in the Purulia, Bankura and Paschim Medinipur districts are part of an elephant corridor.

Over time, as the forest area became increasingly fragmented and more villages came up, incidents of man-elephant conflict have become common in the region.

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