Elephant calf rescued from well

Special Correspondent

The ring-well has a diameter of about six feet

Rescue work lasted more than six hours

KOLKATA: A six-month-old elephant that strayed from the herd and fell into a ring-well at Pedothorang in Bagmundi block of West Bengal’s Purulia district was rescued after about 10 hours on Thursday.

The staff of the local forest division and villagers had to first placate the mother elephant to reach the spot.

Paddy stacks and mud were thrown into the 15-feet-deep well after initial efforts to draw out the baby elephant with ropes failed, K Balamurugan, local divisional forest officer told The Hindu over telephone.

The ring-well has a diameter of about six feet.

“We had a trying time initially to keep at bay the mother elephant that had become restless and ferocious. It took a lot of coaxing before we could subdue her and begin rescue operations,” he said.

Rescue work lasted more than six hours. The mother elephant provided the final touch to the operation by helping her baby out with her trunk.

She then, along with her calf, walked back to the nearby hills to join the rest of the herd of about 30 elephants shortly after noon.

“We suspect that the baby elephant fell into the ring-well around 2 a.m. We were worried that it would suffocate to death,” Mr. Balamurugan said.

Elephant herds enter the region from the adjoining forests in Jharkhand to raid crops during the harvest season. They roam the region in search of food between November and May and usually wait till well after sundown to begin the search, Mr. Balamurugan said.

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