In a heartwarming rescue operation, the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) officials closed down the shutters of a dam to save a baby elephant from drowning in the overflowing river. The incident took place on Monday in the Chalakkudy river near Athirapally, Thrissur, where three shutters of the Peringalkoothu dam were shut down to save the jumbo.
Pictures shared on social media show that the elephant managed to climb on to an elevated rock. Beneath the rock, the river is flowing in spate due to the opening of the dam. When locals realised that the elephant was stuck, they immediately informed the forest department, according to reports.
The officials initially thought that the jumbo was there to take a dip in the water. They later realised that it was stranded when it was continuously testing the depth of the water using its trunk, a senior forest department official told TOI.
The water levels in the reservoir was 422.5 metres then with the full reservoir level at 424 metres. The authorities decided to hold the water for an hour. Further, it would take another half hour for the water flow to reduce downstream where the elephant was stranded. The move came with a huge risk as the water would flow with double the intensity if the dam remained shut for a long time, the officials added.
However, the authorities decided to go ahead with the move and once the water levels came down, the officials burst crackers to lead it to the forest. The mission ended successfully with the elephant moving out of the river within half hour. Following this the dam shutters were opened again to release the water.