Tamil Nadu

Elephant calf rescued in Krishnagiri

The elephant calf which was rescued by forest guards near Udedurgam Reserve Forest, in Krishnagiri, Tamil Nadu on Tuesday.

The elephant calf which was rescued by forest guards near Udedurgam Reserve Forest, in Krishnagiri, Tamil Nadu on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: N. Bashkaran

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It fell into a 20-foot-deep dry farm well on Tuesday midnight.

A three-month-old elephant calf that fell into a well in a farm in Paavadaipatty village in  Rayakottai town of Krishnagiri district in Tamil Nadu was rescued by the Forest Department’s anti-poaching watchers and redirected into the Udedurgam Reserve Forest on Tuesday.

The female calf, barely 3.5 feet tall, was found in the 20-foot deep dry farm well early on Tuesday. The locals, who went to the fields on the forest fringe, heard the trumpeting of the calf. They found the highly restive calf pacing inside the well and trying to climb up a small protruding mud wedge.

Casting net

Soon, the Forest Department personnel arrived with a wide casting net to rescue the calf. In a short rescue mission that lasted about an hour, the watchers threw the net into the bed of the well and waited for the calf to step into it. However, the calf, which had perhaps spent the whole night inside the well, was cautious, setting one foot inside the net and backing off.

When the calf stepped into the net again, the watchers, who had by then climbed down into the well, pushed the baby elephant into the net. Immediately, the animal was hauled up.

But only half the battle had been won, as the calf ran helter-skelter alarmed by the crowd that had gathered around to see the spectacle. The forest watchers threw a cloth around its face and guided it to the reserve forest. After a brief pause at the entrance of the forest, the calf returned to the watchers, to the surprise of everyone there. It was again blindfolded and pushed a few kilometres inside the forest, in the belief that the herd was somewhere in the vicinity.

The calf was part of the herd sighted this migratory season in Udedurgam reserve forest, said locals, who were aware of the elephant movement in that area.

The farm well located on the patta land on the fringes of the Udedurgam reserve forest was an open surface well that belonged to a woman farmer in Paavadaipatty.

Deepak S.Bilgi, Hosur District Forest Officer, told The Hindu that the focus would be now to count the number of open surface farm wells within a kilometre of the reserve forests. “Farmers will be persuaded to cordon off the surface wells by themselves, or the Forest Department and the district administration will explore the options of launching a scheme, to enable funding.”

 

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 7:20:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/elephant-calf-rescued-in-krishnagiri/article22449086.ece

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