The internet has found its newest hero in the Mettupalayam Forest Department officer who carried an elephant calf on his shoulder in a bid to return it to its mother. The calf found itself stuck in mud after it fell into a canal in Nellimala, Ooty.
The incident occurred a week ago. Forest officials were alerted after a female adult elephant was found near this location, attacking vehicles and civilians who were attempting to enter the area. Personnel burst crackers to scare the animal away, but it kept coming back. When they finally managed to send it a good distance away, they noticed that a calf was stuck in the canal.
It immediately became clear to them why the female elephant refused to move.
Officials immediately tried rescuing the calf. As it was unable to walk, a member of the forest department carried the calf on his shoulder to return it to its mother.
According to reports, the elephant herd was in the Nellithurai area, but the calf returned to the officials each time they sent it back to the group. Forest officials waited for two days, feeding the weakened calf Lactogen, glucose and coconut water.
The mother reportedly approached the calf on Thursday evening and led it back to its herd.
This is not the first time that forest officials have come to the rescue of baby elephants.
In March this year, a dramatic rescue took place in Govanur village in Coimbatore district. Forest officials found the elephant trapped in a dry well. The operation lasted overnight due to the aggressive nature of the baby elephant and the depth of the well. They finally managed to pull out the calf from the 70 ft well using a crane and ropes. It ran into the jungle as soon as it was set free.