Elephants are one of the most royal and majestic species of the animal kingdom. The ones that are socialized with humans are amicable. However, elephants that haven’t had much human contact are distrustful of them.
These elephants, like being independent, and they don’t want any humans near them. There are instances when these differences are kept aside, and the animals and humans come together.
That is the story of a baby elephant we are about to tell you. Elephants and humans came together to save this baby from the brink of death.
The Graceful Elephants Of India
Did you know that in many rural parts of India, elephants can roam freely? Yes, that is right. The beautiful elephants and humans learned to coexist peacefully with respect for each other’s space. Despite what people think, elephants are not a threat to humans.
The elephants may seem big and gigantic, but they are the friendliest animals you will meet. However, they will only be a threat when someone crosses their personal space and boundaries. If they feel that way, then they might cause some damage.
That’s why interaction is excellent as long as humans don’t violate these beautiful elephants’ personal space.
An Elephant Herd Near The Urulanthanni River
The Urulanthanni River is situated in Southern India. The river is surrounded by greenery and a unique thick forest home to a vast elephant herd. These elephants roam without a care in the forest.
The people who work near this river and forest have become friends with this herd of elephants. Every time they see these regal elephants, they are in awe. However, they have learned letting the elephants be as bothering them is a mistake.
The herd of these fantastic animals is so huge that the ground starts to shake every time they pass by the river. The locals can feel the shaking, and the sound can be heard from a long distance.
The Baby Elephant Is In Big Trouble
One fine day the elephant herd was in procession as they were making their way to the forest near the river. However, if they had to make it to the river, then they had to cross the holding on land. Doing this was nothing new to the elephants.
They did this all the time with success, but that day something unexpected happened. There was a baby elephant in the herd, and of course, he was not used to this crossing. While the rest of the herd was crossing the holding, the baby elephant fell into an open ditch between the river and the forest.
The baby elephant didn’t know what to do as he couldn’t move inside this open ditch. The rest of the elephant herd got confused and didn’t know how to take him out of the ditch.
The Struggle Inside The Ditch
After a few seconds, the entire herd realized that the baby elephant was in danger, and they had to help him somehow. The baby couldn’t move and couldn’t get back on his feet inside the ditch as it was the baby elephant’s size.
The baby elephant was stuck inside the ditch, and there was no space to move upwards. However, this wasn’t all. There was mud at the bottom of the ditch that made things even worse. It made it even harder for the baby elephant to move inside the ditch.
When he realized he has no way out, he started crying in agony, and every elephant in the herd could feel his cry.
Moments Of Realization
At first, the herd thought that the baby could move himself and get out of the ditch. So they kept looking at him and hoping he would get out. However, once a few minutes passed and the baby couldn’t get out, the adults knew it was time to take some action.
The herd still didn’t know what to do because they couldn’t figure out how to get the baby out. Instead of just staring at the baby and feeling helpless, they started making loud noises so someone could come and help.
No Sign Of Help
Even after the adults started making noises, there was no help from anywhere. On the other hand, the baby felt more helpless and hopeless by the minute as he was exhausted from trying to make his way out.
The adult elephants couldn’t take this sight anymore as they couldn’t see one of their babies in such a vulnerable position. They became even more desperate to help the baby out and do something. Since they still didn’t know what to do, they just started pacing anxiously.
Long Hours Inside The Ditch
The situation became worse. The adults knew that there was no way they could get inside the ditch to save their baby. It would just worsen the situation.
Minutes turned into hours, and the elephants still couldn’t figure out how to help or what to do. They knew that soon the baby would exhaust its energy and feel extremely tired. The exhaustion could be dangerous for him.
They felt helpless at this point because they knew at that moment they couldn’t do anything to help their baby.
The Compassion Of Elephants
Elephants may be gigantic and scary, but they have a lot of compassion for others in their herd. Whenever the herd is going somewhere, the adults make sure that no one is left behind or in danger. When someone is in danger, then all the elephants help each other out.
Every member of the herd is given equal importance, which is why no one is ever left behind. So, of course, they didn’t move forward when the baby was in the ditch as well. Even though there was nothing they could do, they all still waited and figured out what needs to be done.
The Heat Made Everything Worse
By now, the entire herd was desperate for help. The herd didn’t want to leave the baby, and they couldn’t do anything either. So they started pacing anxiously and making loud noises in the hope that someone would come and put them out of their misery.
However, the heat made the situation even worse for the baby. The mud that was present inside the ditch started caking up and trapping the baby elephant even further. The herd started thinking that the baby was doomed, and nothing could be done anymore.
Cries Of Anguish
The heat made the baby elephant even more exhausted as well. He had no energy anymore, and he seemed to be fading. Adults in the herd thought that the end for the baby was here, and they couldn’t do anything about it.
However, they didn’t leave. The entire herd still circled the hole, and they were keeping an eye on the baby. After a while, the baby’s eyes started to close as he was exhausted by now because of the heat.
The rest of the herd thought that the baby’s time was near, and they started crying louder than ever. Their cries were thunderous and filled with anguish as they thought they were going to lose the baby.
The Trumpet Warning
The resilience of adult elephants is commendable. Even after seeing the baby close its eyes, they didn’t want to give up. So they knew it was time for them to give out their warning signals.
Many people don’t know this, but when elephants are in danger, they make the most deafening noise ever. If you are ever near an elephant that makes this noise, your heart will break from the elephant’s anguished cry. The noise sounds like that of a trumpet.
So, when the adults saw the baby closing its eyes, they became even more desperate to do something. They started making the trumpet warning sound as loud as they could.
Not Giving Up
Elephants don’t give up, especially when one of their own is in extreme danger. They knew they couldn’t physically help the baby, so they started giving out the loudest warning signals so someone else would come and help them.
Of course, if you were there, you would think that what they are doing is entirely absurd. However, the animals don’t care. They wanted help no matter where it came from, so they started becoming louder and didn’t give up.
One Last Try
There was no sign of help even though the elephants were making the loudest noises they had ever made. However, this pumped up the baby elephant and gave him enough strength to open his eyes and try getting out again.
He gathered all the strength left in his body and started kicking his way out of the ditch. The only problem was that the mud made the ditch slippery, which hindered the baby from coming out.
The baby tried one more time to kick its way out, but nothing happened. Instead, he fell back into the hole, and the hearts of the adult elephants broke even further after seeing this sight.
A Distant Noise
Someone was bound to hear the cries of these elephants finally. The local community that lived near this river and forest started hearing sounds from a distance. At first, they thought it was either traffic or some kind of music.
However, when the noise wouldn’t stop and kept getting louder, the locals knew that something terrible was happening. The sound was new to them as they didn’t know what it was.
Following The Noise
Curiosity is a helpful feeling. The interest made the locals decide they had to figure out where the noise was coming from. After a while, they realized that the sounds were coming from the forest.
All the residents of the local community gathered and started making their way towards the forest. As they got closer to the elephant’s noises, they began to guess what was happening inside the forest.
However, they knew they had to be careful because they still didn’t know what was happening, and it could be dangerous to their lives as well.
Figuring Out The Noises
Once the locals reached the bend in the river, they could understand that the elephants were making this loud noise. However, they still couldn’t understand why they were making this continuously.
They thought that there might be a predator nearby because of which the elephants were making this noise. Naturally, the locals became fearful because they didn’t want to get hurt by the animals during this process.
Curiosity Trumps Fear
The locals were aware that predators inside the forest could hurt them and kill them in no time. However, their curiosity took over, and they started going deeper into the forest to figure out what was happening.
The braver locals decided to get in the front while the rest of the people were behind them. They knew that if the elephants got bothered by their presence, they could attack them. They still didn’t stop and continued to make their way forward to understand what is going on.
Glimmer Of Hope
Usually, these elephants are fearful of humans because they live in the wild, not socialized. That’s why even the locals don’t go near them because they know they might attack them. Elephants in the wild attack humans that threaten their territory.
At that moment, the elephants did not seem angry at all. As soon as the locals came, they brought a ray of hope with them as the elephants were crying for help for a long time, and finally, some support came their way. That’s why the elephants didn’t say anything to the locals as they made their way inside to see what was happening.
No One Knew What To Do
When the locals finally saw what had happened, they were in shock. They just looked at the baby struggling inside the ditch and the herd grieving next to it. They couldn’t understand what to do for a while because they knew that their hands weren’t enough to get the baby elephant out of the ditch.
Of course, the locals knew they couldn’t leave the baby alone. So, they decided that they should inform the officials of the town. They would know what to do, and they would also have the right tools to save the baby elephant.
Ticking Time Bomb
The locals went back to the town in search of some help. However, as time passed by and evening came, the baby elephant was tired and at the point of giving up. It just went quiet and lay down in the ditch since he didn’t know what else to do.
It was getting dark, but the elephants and locals stayed near the ditch waiting for help to come. Both the locals and elephants were hoping that the baby would hold on until someone else comes to help. As time kept on passing by, the anguish and helplessness of the baby increased.
Help Finally Arrives
Finally, there was some hope as a few cars seem to come from the distance. The locals felt extremely happy and joyous as they could ultimately help the poor baby elephant stuck inside the ditch. The elephants also realized that help is finally here.
The rescue team was with the cars that came. The locals gave way for the team to go, but the elephants seemed irritated by them. However, they didn’t lead their irritation to attack or harm the locals as there was an unspoken understanding that all of them wanted to save the baby.
Assessing The Situation
The forest and wildlife officers came to the scene, and they needed to assess what was going on to come up with a strategy to help the baby elephant. They moved the residents and the elephants so that they could see what was happening.
Once the officers assessed and analyzed the situation, they realized that what they had wasn’t enough. They needed more help and equipment if they were to save the baby elephant from the ditch. They sent one of the officers back into town to get some more help.
The Waiting Game
The situation that had taken place was not normal for the officers as they had never helped an elephant get out of a ditch. So, the best course, according to them, was to organize all the equipment and workforce in the town and then it should come to the forest.
The poor elephant had to wait till then for help to come from the town. The baby’s agony kept increasing as it had been a long time since he was stuck in the ditch. All night the locals stayed with the elephants, and the break of dawn finally came.
It was a new day and, hopefully, a new beginning for the poor elephant that was stuck inside the ditch for a day now.
The Wait Was Finally Over
The noise of the vehicles that came from a distance excited the officials and locals that had stayed with the elephants all night. A new team of rescuers went to the site, and they had an excavator with them.
The officers had to figure out the best way to lift the baby elephant without harming him or injuring him. The more they assessed the situation, the more they couldn’t understand what to do and how to lift the baby elephant best up.
The Prolonged Agony Of The Adult Elephants
It had been more than a day that the baby was stuck inside the ditch, and the adult elephants started becoming impatient. They wanted their baby to come out as soon as possible so that they could be on their way.
Of course, the officers and locals saw the adults’ agony and wanted to do something as soon as possible to get the elephant out. They decided they had to save the baby no matter how much time or how many resources it took. They had to put the elephants out of their misery.
The heavy machinery, herd of elephants, and the officials sparked more of the residents’ curiosity. Soon many more people came to the area. However, the officials had to contain the area because their priority was to get the elephant out. The situation had to be handled properly.
The baby elephant weighed almost 600lbs. The officials knew that they had to tread carefully because even the two strongest people wouldn’t be able to get the baby out. So, the equipment and reinforcements had to be utilized carefully and in the best manner possible.
Time To Get The Job Done
It was time for the officials to make their move so they could save the baby elephant. They began this by using the excavator that they had brought with them. However, the baby elephant was poorly stuck inside the mud.
So, the officers first used the excavator to remove the mud without injuring the baby elephant. They began to dig the dirt and remove it from the ditch to make more space. They needed to ensure that the area becomes wide enough for the baby elephant to move.
The problem was that even if there was enough space, the baby elephant couldn’t be lifted successfully with the excavator. So, the officials made a smart move and created a pathway from the aperture. Doing this was no easy task, as just making this pathway took hours.
At the scene, the locals couldn’t understand why the officials weren’t just using the excavator to lift the elephant. However, the officials knew what they had to do to successfully retrieve the baby elephant from the ditch.
On the other hand, the elephants were extremely calm. They made way for the excavator, and even though the power of the excavator was shaking the entire ground, they didn’t budge from their place. The elephants only cared about the safety of their baby, and so they patiently waited for the officials to do their job.
Local Community Provides Help
Now that the officials were finally working, everyone’s spirits were high. There was finally hope of the baby elephant coming out of the ditch. The officials worked hard to create space in the ditch so that the baby elephant can move.
Finally, after hours of trying, there was enough space in the ditch. Once the locals saw this, they decided it was time for them to volunteer. So, the strongest men volunteered to keep a mark in the area where the excavator needed to dig further.
Everyone started working together, and the baby elephant must have noticed this as it was determined to fight once more. When the adult elephants saw the determination of the baby elephants, they started pacing back and forth to show their support for the rescue mission.
Working Towards The Same Goal
The locals, adult elephants, and wildlife officials had one goal in mind, and that was to make sure the baby elephant gets put as safely as possible. The officials were happy that the local community was lending them a hand during this process.
They assigned an officer from the local residents to give orders to people so everyone could be organized and work in cohesion. That’s because they had to be careful in retrieving the baby elephant from the ditch. Even one small wrong move could be injurious.
Some locals helped with the retrieving, and the others started distributing food as everyone was tired and hungry. The rescue mission brought the entire community together.
The Excavator Was A Blessing
If it wasn’t for the excavator, the poor baby elephant would have been stuck for days. The rescue mission was now on day two, and even though the noise of the excavator was significant, the elephants didn’t mind it as they knew it would help get the baby out.
The herd was still gathered around the site, and so were the locals. No one wanted to abandon the baby elephant, and so they stuck till the end. The joyous spirit motivated the officials even further to continue their rescue efforts.
In the end, the excavator was a blessing. If it wasn’t for the excavator, then it would take twice as much time and effort by the locals to get the elephant out. Even the excavator was taking a long time, but the wildlife officials knew they couldn’t rush this process as it would eventually get the baby elephant out.
A Slight Setback
Everyone was determined and working day and night tirelessly to save the elephant. However, suddenly the noise of the excavator stopped, and this startled everybody. The locals and the officials looked at the machinery and realized that something was wrong with it.
The official operating the excavator tried restarting the engine, but it didn’t work. Everyone’s hearts stopped for a moment as they realized that if the excavator didn’t work, then they may not be able to save the baby elephant at all.
The officials started assessing the machinery so they could understand what was wrong with it. After a while, they came to the conclusion that the engine was overheated. The excavator had been working non-stop for two days, and the engine gave out.
The engine failure worried everyone as they didn’t know what to do. Luckily, a few locals knew what to do when an engine was overheated. They knew the importance of the excavator, and so they offered to help to get the engine started again.
A Break In The Mission
The repair work was underway to get the engine started. Some of the locals and the officials utilized this time to take a break and rest as they had been working non-stop to save the baby elephant. Other locals saw their exhaustion and brought some snacks so that the volunteers and officials could regain some energy.
Till then, the baby elephant had to wait. After a while, the adult elephants realized that the mission had stopped. The break made them more anxious, and they started screaming once again.
However, the officials tried to calm them down, but it didn’t work. After that, one of the officials got closer to the baby elephant to let the adults know that he was doing okay. Once they saw this, they stopped their screaming and cries.
Fixing The Engine
The locals that knew how to fix the engine went on to work and fixed the machine. However, as they started working more, they realized that the engine wouldn’t be fixed in a short amount of time. It needed hours to be fixed as the problem was significant.
One hour went by, and still, the locals were not anywhere close to fixing the engine of the excavator. Some other locals came to provide advice so that the repair process can be faster, but it didn’t work.
The adult elephants started getting anxious once again, and they began stomping their feet loudly. The stomping made the locals work even faster to repair the engine. However, they also feared that adult elephants might attack them as they were getting more agitated by the minute.
What made them work harder was the fact that the baby elephant’s life depended on their work and how fast they were able to get him out of the ditch. It made them work even faster as they wanted the baby elephant to live.
Repair Work Was Finally Successful
After the continuous efforts by the locals and the officials, the engine was finally running again. Once the excavator started making noise again, all the residents started cheering. The rescue mission was back in full swing.
Everyone was also energized and ready to get back to work to save the baby elephant. They were determined to work harder, and they kept working hard because they knew that nothing could come in the way of their efforts now.
Of course, the engine problem had set them back a few hours, but they were determined to make up for it. The only problem was that there was still significant mud and dirt to excavate so that a proper pathway for the baby elephant could be created.
The rescue team had to be careful as they didn’t have the luxury to overheat the engine again. So, they didn’t rush things too fast to get the baby elephant out.
Diverting The Plan
First, the rescue team decided to create a pathway to get the elephant out. When they realized this would take longer, they diverted their plan to create a trench. The goal was to push the elephant back to the ground.
That’s because the animal was exhausted after being trapped for so long, and he did not have the energy to get himself out. The adult elephants started to get anxious again because they wanted this ordeal to be over.
The herd started making the trumpet sound again, and this added more pressure to the locals to get things done quickly. They started giving their best effort.
Baby Elephant Finally Comes Out
It took a lot of effort to get the baby elephant out of the ditch. It had been more than a day that everyone was working tirelessly to save the poor baby elephant.
Finally, the excavator created enough space for the baby elephant to move and walk out of the ditch. The baby elephant realized it could finally be free, and he struggled to get back on his feet. When he did, the elephants watched in awe as the baby was determined to get out.
Reuniting With The Herd
Once the baby elephant went back to the herd, it was the most joyous moment for locals, officials, and the elephants. Before this, no one in the community had dared to come close to the elephants, but at this moment, everyone was connected and happy.
The baby went to its parents, and they came close to show him affection. The adult elephants were happy, and they showed this happiness through deafening appreciation sounds. At this time, the sound and loud cries were of happiness.
Crossing The Landholding
The local community watched in awe as all the elephants reunited with the baby. The elephants had circled the baby and were being affectionate towards him. That was the moment when the locals realized that these animals might look like big beasts, but they have emotions as well.
Once the reunion was done, the adult elephants huddled towards the baby elephant to make sure he crosses the river this time. All of them guided the baby elephant and ensured that he crossed the landholding without fail this time.
Pure Joy And Happiness
The baby elephant was trapped in the ditch for an entire day, and once he got out, everyone was extremely happy. The locals had never seen the herd of elephants so ecstatic and happy. Everyone’s heart was full as they saw how attached the herd was to the baby.
The elephants made their way towards the forest, and the locals watched them go. Many of them even started shedding tears of joy as they were extremely happy that the baby was safe and back to where it belonged. No one wanted to leave the site as seeing the baby made them extremely happy, and they wanted to hold on to that feeling for as long as they could.
Time To Party
Once the baby elephant was back in the herd, he was being given extra attention by the adults, and he was enjoying it. After all, he deserved this attention after being in agony for so long inside the ditch. The entire herd was worried, and no one left till the baby safely got out of the ditch.
Such solidarity just showed the locals how much every member of their herd is valued as they wouldn’t just stop for anybody for so long. After a miserable day, it was time for them to regain some fuel and energy as they didn’t have any food or water for the entire time the baby was in the ditch.
The baby elephant had to be reenergized as well since he was exhausted after being stuck inside the ditch for so long.
Crossing the river was nothing new to the elephants. They had done it a million times. However, they now realized that they would have to be extra careful when crossing the river as they did not want another baby elephant to get stuck inside the landholding.
The adults made sure that the baby elephant was walking in the middle of the herd among the adults. The parents didn’t move their eyes from the baby elephant for even a second after the entire debacle. They were now taking calculated steps and slowly making their way back into the forest.
The locals watched the elephants till the end. When they crossed the river, they looked back to say thanks to the locals. That was their way of saying both goodbye and thanks to everyone that helped save the baby elephant.
A Sweet Surprise
After turning their heads, the elephants started forming a big line. Once they did this, one by one, all the elephants started raising their trunks. The locals were confused as they didn’t understand what the elephants were trying to do or say to them.
Sound Of Happiness
All the elephants lined up, raised their trunks, and they let out a trumpet sound. The sound was a happy one, and they were showing their appreciation towards the locals. The sound was their way of giving a salute to the locals and officials.
A Memorable Day
The locals felt extremely joyous because they could see the fruit of their labor. All of them congratulated each other on what they had just done. The trunk salute from the elephants made them even happier as they knew their efforts were appreciated by the elephants as well. That was a day none of the locals and officials would ever forget for a long time to come.
The herd started moving, and as they went towards the forest, they looked smaller than ever. All the locals stayed to watch till every elephant was safely inside the forest.
Elephants In India
Did you know that more than half of the elephant population in Asia lives in India? That is because the Indians have coexisted with these animals for centuries. There are many areas where the elephants freely roam around and are well adjusted with humans.
20% of the elephant population in India is also used for local businesses. That’s why they are given proper shelter by the locals. So, elephants and humans in India have a long history that can’t go unnoticed.
Once the elephants had gone in the forest, the officials thanked the local community, and everyone shook hands then headed home. It was a story that would be told by the locals to their children and grandchildren for decades to come.