1. The Majestic Indian Elephants
In the rural areas of India, wild elephants often roam freely. Described as majestic and regal, these beasts live alongside the locals with mutual respect for each other's territory. However, once their boundaries are crossed, these large animals can inflict tremendous damage. But when a group of villagers "intrude" on their land after an unfortunate incident, the rule was surprisingly brushed aside, and something amazing happened.
2. An Elephant Procession
The lush forests surrounding the Urulanthanni River near the southern tip of India are home to a local elephant herd. They roam free and wild, and workers in the area had come to know them very well. Every time the herd passed by, the ground would shake like a freight train was coming. Feeling a mixture of amazement and fear, the workers had learned not to bother the beasts, until one day something unexpected happened.
3. An Unexpected Happen
It was a beautiful day and the massive herd of elephants were marching through the land to the forest near the Urulanthanni River. It was a normal routine for them, until a baby elephant stumbled and fell into a hole between the land and the river. A few feet away from the bank and entrenched in thick layers of mud, the baby elephant could not move. In seconds, the rest of the herd realized that the baby was in terrible danger.
4. The Dreadful Moments
The adult elephants couldn't go inside the hole to save the baby, as it was only a little bigger than the calf’s body. The young elephant had to fight for its life itself. Struggling to get on its feet, the baby elephant soon felt drained and began braying loudly. This sight was too hard to bear for the adult elephants. As the baby elephant was showing signs of fatigue and desperation, the adults knew they couldn't just stand there and watch.
5. No One Would Be Left Behind
To survive in the wild, elephants usually live in groups, and they are very compassionate to one another. They emphasize that no one in the family should be left behind, wherever they go. So when the baby elephant was in danger, the older ones wouldn't go until the calf had been saved. As time passed by, the baby elephant was fading fast. Still, the elephants were at a loss as to how to help, except circling around the hole and making noises.
6. Next To Hopeless
As minutes turned into hours, the heat of the sun becomes stronger, and the thick, wet mud started to cake up. The trapped little creature almost lost its energy and had even begun to close its eyes. It seemed that a brutal end was just around the corner. Out of anguish, the whole herd started to scream. Their thunderous cry can be one of the most heartbreaking sounds you could ever hear.
7. The Warning Signals
Seeing the baby elephant slowly succumbing to death, the herd were distraught and kept trumpeting as loud as they could, as if giving out their warning signals despite being exhausted from the heat. Though humans cannot easily understand the language of elephants, anyone who heard the deafening sound would instinctively understand their love for the trapped baby elephant. They continued crying out for help, waiting for even a small glimmer of hope.
8. The Last Try
Hearing the older elephants' deafening crying, the fallen elephant's will was restored even after losing most of its energy. It mustered all its strength and kicked its way out of the hole once again. Unfortunately, due to the slippery sides, the baby elephant slumped back to the hole. It was heartbreaking! Was the baby elephant doomed? Of course not.
9. Hope From Distance
The strong and strange noises the herd created was heard by the local community over a mile away. Having no idea where the unusual sound was coming from or what it was, the locals were quite fearful. But as the desperate screams became louder and louder, they knew something was wrong. Finally, some of them decided to find out what was happening.
10. Get Closer But Fearful
Tracing the sound, the residents headed towards the direction of the forest. As they drew closer, the deafening noises became hard to bear and they could recognize the sound was coming from elephants. The locals are fully aware that the wild beasts can attack and kill humans within a blink of an eye. Despite their fear, they just couldn't just leave the scene without making out why they were giving off that thunderous sound.
11. An Incredible Confrontation
Finally, the villagers reached the spot where the strange sound was coming from. Under normal circumstances, these wild elephants would attack humans to protect their grounds. But at that particular moment, these giant beasts, instead of being angry and protective, seemed to catch a glimmer of hope. Stunned, the locals looked at the struggling baby elephant and the grieving adult ones for a while. They then were at a loss too, given the situation.
12. The Clock Kept On Ticking
Knowing they couldn't save the baby elephant with their bare hands, the locals decided to return to the town to inform the authorities. As the evening wore on, the baby elephant had stopped moving, lying quietly at the bottom as if waiting for its end. Both the onlooking elephants and the locals were hoping that the poor elephant could hold on until the officials arrived. Every second passing by must have felt like an hour to the fallen elephant.
13. The First Reinforcements Came
It was already dark when the forest and wildlife officers finally reached the site of the accident. After what seemed like an eternity, the locals jumped for joy and even the older elephants grew excited, seemingly knowing that help had finally arrived. After assessing the scene, the rescue team realized that it was not as simple as they first imagined, and bigger equipment was required to save the long trapped elephant.
14. The Heavy Reinforcements Came
One of the officers had to go back to the town to ask for additional assistance. Once again, the baby elephant had to wait. Night became dawn and a new day began. The locals and officials stayed with the herd of elephants all night. When they turned impatient and exhausted, another rescue team, together with a giant excavator, finally came. Still, the officers tried to find out the best way to lift the elephant out alive, but a worse situation confronted them.
15. A More Serious Situation
At this point, the baby elephant had been in the hole for over a day. The older elephants had clearly started to get impatient and had kept pacing back and forth. Moreover, along with the heavy artillery came more and more local residents. The officers had to restrain the locals from getting too close to the agitated animals. Meanwhile, they began to work as carefully as they could. But the rescue was easier said than done.
16. The Rescue Began
The fallen elephant had been lodged by the mud pretty bad, so the officers had to first dig and remove the mud to create more space for the elephant to move. Considering the trapped elephant weighed as much as 500 pounds, they couldn't just lift it out of the deep hole. So the rescuers decided to create a pathway from the crevice to allow the baby elephant to crawl its way out. But it was a complicated job and the dig took hours.
17. Working In Unison
While the excavator was working, some of the locals volunteered to join the rescue mission, and some provided food for the rescue team. Though the large machine was noisy and made the ground vibrate, the wild elephants, fully aware of what was happening, did not grow tense but instead watched in awe. Sensing hope, the fallen elephant began to fight for its life once more. It was day two and the rescue mission had slowly turned into a community project.
18. An Unexpected Problem
As people were busy working together, the excavator suddenly stopped. The operator restarted the engine, but still, nothing happened. It was like a nightmare had become reality. Having been up for hours, the old machine had overheated. Luckily, some of the locals knew a thing or two about engine repair, so they began to fix the machine. Once again, the baby elephant had to wait, and the older elephants began to trump their feet in anxiety.
19. A Successful Rescue
After over an hour of repairs, the machine was finally set up to run again. Cheers came from the crowd, and the rescue mission continued instantly. This time, the officers aimed to create a trench to push the baby elephant towards the solid ground since it had lost all its energy. By the afternoon, a pathway had finally been created. Once again, the deafening sound arose all over the forest. The poor baby struggled to its feet with a renewed energy and determination.
20. The Glorious Reunion
No one had thought the rescue mission would take from the night before until the next afternoon. As the baby elephant walked slowly towards its family, the rescuers watched with joy and relief in their hearts. The adult elephants came over and circled around the dear baby, crying in appreciation and delight. At that moment, the rescuers saw the deep attachment and concern these wild animals have for each other.
21. A Moment of Pure Happiness
After being trapped in the hole for almost a whole day, happiness can finally be seen on the baby elephant's face. With ecstatic and grateful emotion, the elephants went on their journey to the greener pastures. This time, the older elephants guided the little one with the utmost care to keep it safe and sound. The spectators felt the sight was so beautiful that they kept watching the herd until another amazing thing happened.
22. The Act of Gratitude
Once the beasts reached the other side of the river, each of them turned their heads as if they were giving their thanks and saying goodbye. The locals were touched by the act of gratitude. Just as they thought the herd would walk away, they were startled once more. The elephants formed a line, and one by one, they raised their trunks and gave out a trumpeting sound. The wild beasts were giving the rescuers a salute. It was more than enough.