A wild elephant was found stranded in the middle of Chalakudy river in Kerala’s Thrissur for several hours on Tuesday, August 2, after heavy rainfall in the area during the night raised its water level by nearly five meters. Visuals show the elephant struggling to walk amid the gushing waters of the river, which almost came up to the pachyderm’s ears. After several hours of valiant attempts, the elephant managed to get to the safety of the forest on the other side. Forest officials monitoring the situation told media that the tusker will now be able to move into the forest safely, as the water currents close to the forest were comparatively slower.
The tusker was stranded in the middle of the river on a small piece of land for several hours, as the river raged around the animal, which had stymied rescue attempts by fire force and forest officials gathered near Athirapally Falls. Subsequently, during its attempts to cross the river, the tusker got swept several meters downstream and managed to hang on to a broken tree in the middle of the river. Thereafter, it slowly managed to move closer to the other side of the river and then disappeared from view, raising hopes that it would soon reach the safety of the forest. Visuals also showed the tusker periodically dipping its trunk in the river to assess the water depth as it tried to move towards the other side. According to local residents, the elephant had come to the river from the forest looking for food in the night, but got stranded.
Meanwhile, restrictions have been placed on entry of tourists to high ranges of Idukki and the Athirapally waterfalls in Thrissur, and tourist movement has been restricted to Ponmudi as well. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) also issued a red alert in 10 districts of the state for August 3.
The alert is issued in all the districts of the state except Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta and Kasaragod, where Orange alerts have been issued for August 2 and 3, according to an IMD district rainfall forecast for the state. The department also warned of widespread and isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall in Kerala till Friday. A red alert indicates heavy to extremely heavy rains of over 20 cm in 24 hours, while orange alert means very heavy rains from 6 cm to 20 cm of rain. A yellow alert means heavy rainfall between 6 and 11 cm.
Watch the elephant get to safety from the river: