Rescue operations began around 6 am on Thursday morning and are currently in progress.

Dharmapuri elephant that fell into well being rescued with a crane
news Animal Welfare Thursday, November 19, 2020 - 18:31

A wild elephant, estimated to be aged around 25 to 30 years, fell into a 60-foot well near Palakode in Tamil Nadu’s Dharmapuri district, following which the district Forest Department swung into action to rescue the pachyderm. Rescue operations began around 6 am on Thursday morning and are currently in progress. It is being assumed that the female elephant fell into the well while it was on the lookout for food. On Thursday morning, Pachapalli Elagundu village was pierced by the trumpeting of the fallen elephant, following which locals alerted the forest officials.

The well that has a wide opening and a narrower inner shaft into which the elephant has fallen. Speaking to TNM, Dharmapuri District Forest Officer (DFO) said, “It is a narrow well and there are houses in the vicinity. We have to take care of the public, animal and the safety of our staff as well. The well is about 60-feet deep and six to seven feet wide. It has concrete rings all around. We are unable to make a ramp. Otherwise, the work could have been easy.”

Forest officials have tranquillised the animal twice in order to proceed with rescue operations. “The plan is to bring her out using a crane. So far, the animal looks active, healthy and does not have any serious injuries. She is moving inside the well. We will be able to assess its health only after rescue,” he adds.

Visuals from the rescue site show the elephant restlessly sloshing about inside the deep well, seemingly in a state of panic. Men were being lowered into the narrow well using a makeshift container. The animal will be sent back to the wild after its health is tested. The area where the well is located is a farmland adjacent to the reserve forest area. “Only about 100 meters from the forest,” the DFO estimated.

The area has frequent elephant visitors, and the well, which is an old construction, has been maintained by the residents in the vicinity, the officer adds.

This is a developing story

Update: Video: Elephant trapped in a well rescued after 13-hour operation in Tamil Nadu

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