A baby elephant’s mishap became an elaborate rescue operation after tumbling into a well nearly 30 feet (9 meters) deep in a small Indian village.
The calf was among a group of elephants that had strayed into Nimatand village from the adjacent forest in Giridih district of Jharkhand’s eastern state.
The village drove the herd away, but the calf was found at the bottom of the well the next day.
The well’s side was demolished with multiple backhoes and a trench was dug for the elephant to exit.
“Unfortunately, in the dark of the night, roughly around 9 p.m. local time, the calf fell into the well,” said local government official Shashikant Verma, who photographed the rescue.
“The calf didn’t get any injuries because the water level wasn’t high enough, but it did fall and acquired some buoyancy.”
Villagers notified the local forest department, which put up a rescue operation that involved three backhoes.
The calf was removed from the well using a ramp that had been carved into the ground instead of being lifted vertically.
Eight hours later, the calf stumbled out of the well, covered in mud and dust.