(Wayanad district): A wild tusker that fell into an elephant trench on the fringes of the Noolpuzha section of the Muthanga range of forests under the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary was rescued on Friday evening after an eight-hour ordeal.
Roy P. Thomas, Wildlife Warden, WWLS, said the tusker, about 20 years old, had reportedly raided crops in the area several times.
It fell into the trench on Thursday night while on its way to the adjacent plantations at Karam Poothadi, near Nenmeni under Noolpuzha panchayat limits.
The Forest officials began rescue operations when they found the animal stuck in the trench.
It was a herculean task as the animal was trapped in the narrow trench in an upturned position. The operation lasted nearly eight hours and the animal was rescued by 3.30 p.m.
The trench was levelled with an excavator with the help of the police and local people. Forest assistant veterinary surgeon Dr. Arun Zachariah, who administered the tranquilizer shot to the animal, said the elephant was weak and diseased.
A radio collar was attached to the animal to observe its movements, he added. The elephant was released into the interior forests at 4 p.m.