-- This Elephant Calf Was on the Brink of Death Until This Happened

Elephants are the largest animals on land. They are also considered one of the most majestic species in the entire animal kingdom. Today, people have the chance to get closer to some of these large animals either in zoos or in amusement parks. Some of them are captured from the wild and bred selectively so that they'll have traits and characteristics that are desirable to humans.


However, those that have grown in the wild prefer to be left alone. These wild elephants have little to no contact at all with human beings. They are independent and are usually hesitant and distrustful of human beings. But perhaps, there are instances where even this strict rule must be brushed off to the side.
Once, when a baby elephant encountered such an unfortunate incident, the herd of wild elephants had no choice but to alert the humans they avoided for so long. A team of rescuers couldn’t say no to these majestic animals and the events that followed were absolutely amazing.

The Majestic Indian Elephants

In India, there are rural places where wild elephants roam freely. Even though they are rarely seen by the locals, these beasts are described as majestic and regal in every way. The residents in the community had learned to live alongside these wild elephants with mutual respect for each other’s territory.



Given their own space, these wild elephants are no threat to humans. But once they feel that their boundaries are being crossed, they have the ability to inflict unwanted damages. For visitors who rarely see majestic herds of elephants, it surely is a sight to behold. But as always, there has to be a limit.

An Elephant Procession in the Southern Tip of India

The Urulanthanni River is located near the southern tip of India. It is surrounded by lush forests which are home to a local elephant herd. The beasts roam free and wild. They march through the land and the workers in the area came to know them very well. While they feel a mixture of amazement and fear at the sight, the workers had learned not to bother them.



Every time the herd would pass by, the ground seemed to shake under their weight. The sound and feeling could be compared to an approaching freight train. It seems that they knew by heart where they were going.

The Struggles of the Baby Elephant

The majestic elephant procession was in its normal routine until something unexpected happened. It was a beautiful day and the mighty herd was on its way to the forest near the Urulanthanni River. To be able to make their way across the river, they had to walk through the holding on land. This part of the procession is a normal task for the elephants. However, the baby elephant was not yet accustomed to crossing the river.

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The baby elephant was the smallest in the group. This one was 1/6th of the size of a full adult elephant. While the herd was crossing, the young elephant stumbled and fell into the hollow space between the land and the river. They were still a couple of feet away from the bank and the river was entrenched with mud. The baby elephant was left unable to move. The rest of the herd didn’t know how to retrieve the fallen one. Given the circumstances, saving the baby elephant wouldn’t be easy.

The Anguish Within the Hole

In a matter of seconds, the herd realized that the baby was in terrible danger. It struggled to get back on its feet. Moving inside a deep hole that was almost the same size as the baby elephant’s body was draining its energy. There was not enough space to decisively move upward.


What made the situation even worse was the thick layer of mud at the bottom of the cavity. The baby elephant felt the strain of moving in what felt like wet concrete. It started crying very loudly and its agony could be felt by every adult elephant in the herd.

The Dreadful Moments

The rest of the herd was looking at the baby elephant as it struggled to get on its feet, hoping to find any footing. The adult elephants were momentarily stunned by what happened. But after a few minutes, they knew they had to do something.

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As the young elephant fought for its life, the others felt obligated to do what they could too. They wouldn’t be able to help the youngest member of the family simply by looking and hoping that it could successfully lift its own body. They started making noises.

The Elephants Began to Feel Anxious

The noises didn't seem to help. The baby elephant was showing signs of fatigue and hopelessness and the sight was too hard to bear for the adult elephants.

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As the weight of the situation began to dawn on them, it made them even more desperate to do something. They started pacing back and forth. They couldn’t just stand there and watch.

Minutes Turned Into Hours

Surveying the small cavity, the older elephants knew that they couldn’t go inside to save the baby elephant. They are naturally smart animals and they knew that would only worsen the situation.


Time passed by and still, the elephants were at a loss as to what they should do. But as the minutes turned into hours, they knew that the danger got bigger and bigger as the young elephant began to lose its energy. The thought of losing the youngest member of the family was devastating and yet, it seemed like they couldn't do anything about it. 

No One Would Be Left Behind

Elephants are known to be very compassionate towards one another. They usually go about in groups which help them survive. Although their massive size can be seen as a serious advantage over predators, there are still plenty of dangerous animals in the wild they should avoid.

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As a family, elephants can be seen as a good example even to human beings. From the oldest to the youngest member, everyone in the family is deeply valued. Wherever they go, they emphasize that no one should be left behind. Naturally, when one member is in danger, they wouldn’t stop until everything is under control even if it means risking their own lives.

The Heat Doubled the Agony

The whole ordeal understandably put the whole herd in a desperate position. They did not want to leave the youngster but all they could do was pace back and forth and make noises. They were not only doing that to get help - they were doing that out of their own anguish.

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The mud in the cavity restrained the baby elephant from moving even when pushing with all its force. But as the heat of the sun became stronger, the thick and wet mud began to cake up. It looked like the trapped animal was doomed.

It Was Next to Hopeless

After a few hours, the baby elephant seemed to be fading fast. The heat of the sun made the matter worse and it seemed that a brutal end was just around the corner.


The older elephants were still circled around the hole. Though they couldn't bear watching the desperate moment, they wouldn't leave. When the baby elephant seemed to close its eyes, the herd began to scream. It was a thunderous cry of anguish.

The Warning Signals

With a small glimmer of hope, the older elephants gave out their warning signals. This deafening sound is one of the most heartbreaking noises you could ever hear. If you happen to be in the vicinity, this warning signal would really be hard to ignore.

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When elephants are distraught, they give out a sound that when sounded together, produces a noise like that of a trumpet. Seeing the youngest member of their herd slowly succumbing to fatigue, they began trumpeting as loud as they could.

The Scream of Inspiration

Though a human cannot easily understand the language of the animals, anyone would surely understand the moral support the herd was giving to the baby elephant. The older elephants could not go down as there wasn't enough space. However, they had their voices to cry out for help.


To the most practical minds, the thought of elephants waiting for a guardian angel to save the youngest member of their herd seems to be absurd. But still, these massive beasts continued to send out warning signals despite being exhausted from the heat. They just couldn’t give up.

The Last Try for Dear Life

Even after losing most of its energy, the baby elephant’s will was restored when it heard the deafening sound being made by the rest of the elephants in the herd. It was their way of showing their concern and love for each other.


Mustering all the strength remaining in its body, the fallen one once again kicked its way out of the hole. But it seemed that the slippery sides of the hole wouldn’t allow the baby elephant to come out so easily. With one final try, the unfortunate elephant slumped back into the hole. It was a heartbreaking sight.

The Strange Noise From a Distance

The local community was bothered to hear loud sounds from a distance. At first, they couldn’t make out where it was coming from or what it was. Some thought it was traffic while others figured it was some kind of music from far away.


But when the strange noises continued, the locals knew something was wrong. The sound was unusual. However, they just couldn’t figure out what was happening.

There’s Only One Way to Find Out

Though the locals were initially quite fearful of the strange noise, some of them decided to try and find out where it was coming from. The sound seemed to originate from the forest which was over a mile away. The residents went in a group and headed towards the direction of the trees.


As they drew closer to the source of the sound, some of the residents began to guess what was going on. But still, they had to be cautious.

What Was the Herd Doing?

The residents finally reached a bend in the river where they saw where the strange sound was coming from. Being close enough, the deafening noises became hard to bear. But still, the residents didn’t back down. They could guess that the noise could possibly be coming from elephants, but still, they couldn’t make out the reason why they were giving off that thunderous sound.


Could it be that the wild beasts had cornered a dangerous animal? The locals were aware of feline predators and they instantly feared for their safety.

The Locals Had to Get Closer But Were Still Wary

Even if the residents were fully aware that feline predators could kill them within the blink of an eye, they just couldn’t leave the scene without finding out what made the wild elephants scream like that. Their fear was overpowered by their curiosity.


As more and more residents went into the forest to find out the answer, the braver part of the group decided to get closer to the scene. They were aware that wild elephants could attack humans and hurt them if they wanted to. But still, they didn't stop.

The Wild Elephants Seemed to Know That Help Was Nearby

Under normal circumstances, the locals wouldn’t dare go near the wild beasts. Being true to their nature, they knew that the wild elephants would protect their territory and harm human beings who they thought threatened their safety.


But at that particular moment, the wild elephants did not look bewildered and angry at all. The presence of the locals seemed to bring them a new glimmer of hope.

Even the Locals Were at a Loss

Despite being smarter than the elephants, the locals were also stunned. For a while, they just looked at the struggling baby elephant and at the grieving members of the herd. Surveying the area, they knew that they wouldn’t be able to lift the baby elephant using just their hands.


Knowing they couldn’t just let the young elephant die within the hole, the residents decided to inform the authorities. They thought government officials would have the right equipment needed to rescue the poor animal.

The Clock Kept on Ticking

Keen to save the trapped animal, some of the concerned locals went to the town to ask for help. As evening fell, the baby elephant had stopped moving. It lay quietly at the bottom of the hole as if patiently waiting for its end.


It was already dark but both the herd of the elephants and some of the locals stayed to wait for help. Everyone was hoping that the baby elephant could hold on until the officials with the proper experience and equipment came. Every second that passed was pure torture to the young elephant.

Finally, a Caravan of Cars Came

The group of locals jumped for joy upon the sight of cars coming from a distance. Even the older elephants seemed to understand that help was on its way. After what seemed like an eternity, the rescue team reached the site of the accident.


As the locals gave way to the team, the elephants grew agitated. However, they didn’t show signs of harming the locals. At that moment, there was a mutual understanding. Both parties wanted nothing but to save the baby elephant. 

The First Reinforcement Was Not Enough

The rescue team that came to the scene identified themselves as forest and wildlife officers. To be able to come up with the best strategy to save the poor elephant, they had to assess the scene. That meant that some of the residents had to move. Even the herd of elephants had to be redirected somewhere as well.

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Upon further analysis, the rescue team realized that the situation required more serious equipment. It was not as simple as they first imagined. One of the officers had to go back to the town and ask for additional support. The situation wouldn’t be resolved within the day.

The Prolonged Agony

Since the situation was not a normal occurrence in that Southern tip of India, the backup reinforcements needed to be organized first in the town before being sent to the forest. The baby elephant, once again, had to wait.


As night fell, the other locals and officials decided to stay with the herd of elephants. If the group of wild beasts could wait patiently, so could the humans who wanted to rescue the baby elephant as much as its family did. The night became dawn and a new day began.

The Heavy Reinforcements Finally Came

Feeling impatient and quite exhausted, the locals and officials jumped to their feet upon hearing the distant rumbling of vehicles. The wildlife officer who was sent to the town brought back another team of rescuers. But this time, they had a giant excavator in tow.


Although there were additional tools they could use for the rescue mission, the wildlife officers still had to find out the best way to lift the elephant without further risking its life. The more they looked, the worse the situation appeared. 

No Matter What It Takes

The baby elephant had been in the hole for more than a day. It was already seven in the morning on the second day when the rescue team officially began. Judging by the actions of the older elephants in the herd, they wanted to have the baby elephant back on land as soon as possible.

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Seeing the attachment and feeling of the wild beasts, the rescuers felt more determined than ever to lift out the baby elephant alive. They wanted to save the poor animal no matter what it took.

The Area Had To Be Controlled

With the presence of heavy machinery and officials from the town, more and more local residents got curious and went to the area. However, the rescuers had to restrain them from getting too close as the situation was very serious and had to be handled carefully.

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Adult elephants usually weigh around one ton. Although the officials had only to rescue a baby elephant, it still weighed between 400-600 pounds. Even two strong people would have a hard time dealing with the situation. The equipment had to be used as carefully and as appropriately as possible. But with time against them, the task was easier said than done.

The Experts Began to Do Their Jobs

The wildlife officers decided to use the excavator. The mud had lodged the baby elephant pretty solidly. Of course, the rescuers were no amateurs and they found out ways to remove the mud without further risking the life of the young elephant.


The operator of the excavator began to dig and remove a bunch of the mud and dirt that surrounded the elephant. They needed to widen the space so that the fallen one could finally move. However, the baby couldn't be lifted just like that even if they successfully created enough space to do so. Instead, they worked on creating a pathway from the crevice. The job took hours.

Slowly But Surely

While other locals couldn’t understand why the rescuers wouldn’t just lift up the baby elephant using the heavy artillery, they just continued to stare and watch. The wildlife officers definitely knew what they were doing.


It seemed that the older elephants were fully aware of what was happening. They even gave way for the large machine. The equipment was noisy and it made the ground vibrate with its power. However, no elephant in the herd seemed to grow tense and nervous. All they cared about was the safety of the youngest member of the herd.

The Earth Seemed to Cooperate

Since there was a lot of mud and dirt to dig out, creating even a small path so that the baby elephant could crawl its way out proved to be a complicated job.


They had to be careful that the mud and dirt being removed wouldn’t fall back into the hole or else, the first plan would have to be abandoned. So instead of taking out the maximum amount of dirt the excavator could, the rescuers had to be very patient.

The Locals Decided to Lend a Helping Hand

Seeing that the excavator had already created enough space for the baby elephant to move, the locals decided to join the rescue mission. Some of the strongest local men volunteered to mark the area where the excavator needed to dig.


Seeing everyone working together, the baby elephant must have known that it was going to live. Seeing that it was keen to fight for its life once more, the rest of the herd paced back and forth as a sign of support.

Patience is a Virtue

The wildlife officers, despite the presence of the heavy equipment, were delighted by the extra help provided by the local residents. An officer was assigned to give organized orders to the people.


One wrong move and all their effort already expended could go to wase. The local volunteers had to be extremely careful to not risk their own safety too. Some provided food for the rescue team, and the mission slowly turned into a community project. 

The Excavator Made Everything Easier

Although the noise of the huge piece of machinery was quite disturbing, the wild elephants just continued to watch in awe. It was day two and the herd was still intact. The sight of them waiting patiently for their baby elephant inspired the locals and the rescuers to continue their efforts.


The excavator was ultimately their savior. If not for that piece of heavy equipment, the locals would tire out digging the mud and dirt using their hands and shovels. Even though the process was already taking a long time, the officials were not tempted to rush things.

An Unexpected Problem

As people were busy working on their designated tasks, the sudden stop of the deafening noise startled them. They all looked at the excavator. It seemed that something was wrong.


The operator of the excavator restarted the engine of the heavy equipment. But still, nothing happened. It was like the worst nightmare became reality. How could this happen?

An Unfortunate Engine Fail

Looking at the excavator, some of the officials had deduced that the engine had overheated. There was smoke coming out of the machinery. It had been working for hours and the older model of the excavator seemed to have given up.


Fortunately, some of the local volunteers knew a thing or two about engine repair. They came to the front and offered to help. They knew how crucial time was in this rescue mission. 

The Rescue Had to Stop for a While

The officials had the necessary tools and repair work restarted. Some of the rescuers and volunteers took some time to rest as the rescue mission had been extremely tiring. There were snacks and drinks provided by the some other concerned local residents. For the meantime, the baby elephant had to wait once again.


As they somewhat understood the situation, the older elephants began to scream once again. To calm them, some of the rescuers got closer to the baby elephant to ensure it was still okay. Luckily, the baby elephant was still holding on for dear life. 

The Mechanics Had to be Quick

The volunteer mechanics from the local residents went on to do the job. But upon further analysis, they found out that a hasty repair wouldn’t work. The engine problem required a considerable amount of time to fix. Another hour went by and the mechanics still were not close to fixing the machine. Another local volunteer came to the front and gave suggestions so that the excavator could get back to work once again. The wild elephants began stomping their feet.


The volunteers were working on the repair as fast as they could. The locals couldn't wait but it seemed that the herd of the wild beasts could not wait either. While some of them had stopped screaming, other elephants were seen pacing back and forth. The anxiousness of their actions was evident and the locals had to keep their guards up. Aside from the fear of being attacked by the adult elephants, they knew that the life of the young elephant depended on them.

A Successful Repair

With their combined ideas and effort, the mechanics were able to set the engine up and running once again. There was a cheer from the audience. Instantly, the rescue mission was back to life. The locals and the rescuers had adequate rest and they were renergized and ready to work again. They got back to their designated places and orders were given. It became clear to everyone that nothing could stop them now.


There was still a lot of dirt and mud to dig out in order to create a pathway for the poor elephant. As much as they wanted to rush things, they couldn’t do it as the operator of the excavator had to be extremely careful. The repair to the excavator was temporary and they couldn't risk overheating the engine again.

No Time to Waste

The original plan was diverted to creating a trench. They aimed to push the elephant towards the solid ground. The rescuers had to do it as it became clear that the baby elephant had lost all its energy since it was trapped in the hole.


Some of the officials had to warn the locals to be wary and vigilant of the wild beasts. No one had thought the rescue mission would take such a long time despite everyone giving their best effort. The elephants made it clear that they wanted the whole thing to be over. Once again, a deafening sound could be heard all over the forest and even as far as the local community. With that added pressure around the rescuers, their energy and enthusiasm seemed to double.

A Happy Ending

At first glance, the situation seemed easy. There was an excavator, many people around, and plenty of tools and shovels. However, it took a great effort from the team of rescuers and volunteers to finally save the poor elephant. The mission that began the night before finally came to an end the next afternoon. 

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After what seemed like an eternity, the rescuers were able to create enough space and pathway so that the baby elephant could walk its way out. The herd of elephants watched in awe as the poor baby struggled to its feet, this time, with a renewed energy and determination.

The Glorious Reunion

The locals were not used to being so close to the wild beasts. Yet at that moment, everyone’s heart was filled with joy as they watched the baby elephant walk slowly towards its family. The parents of the youngest member came over and showed their affection. The ecstatic emotion was in the air and it was beautiful to witness. 

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As the crowd cheered for the much-awaited reunion, the herd of the elephants began to show their appreciation and delight. They cried in unison, but this time, they weren't cries of sadness. 

Never Again

As the adult elephants circled around the youngest and dearest member of the herd, the locals watched with pure amazement and relief in their hearts. At that moment, the rescuers and the locals realized that even animals experience a lot of emotions in their lifetime.


As they huddled together across the river, the older elephants made sure that the unfortunate accident wouldn’t happen again. They guided the little one patiently until it had crossed the landholding successfully.

A Moment of Pure Happiness

After being trapped in a hole of mud for almost a whole day, it was amazing to see the look of happiness on the baby elephant’s face. The herd was beaming with joy and everyone saw the depth of attachment and concern they all had for each other. Some of the locals continued to watch the herd as they walked away and towards the forest. Some of the spectators even cried. Those were tears of joy.


Even though the rescue mission was finished, no one in the area wanted to leave straight away. They were seeing the fruits of their labor: a loving herd of wild elephants gently caressing each other as if they were the most vulnerable animals in the world.

Parting Time

The baby elephant was clearly enjoying the attention being given by the rest of the herd. It had been such an agonizing experience. However, the family never left and waited patiently until help from an unexpected place arrived. Throughout the whole ordeal, the elephants proved how much they valued every member of their group.


The wild elephants had to go on and continue their journey. They were not able to eat or drink during the whole ordeal. The elephants needed to restart their journey right away. More than anyone else, the adult elephants knew how badly the baby elephant desperately needed food and water. The baby elephant had lost an incredible amount of strength and energy throughout the ordeal. The massive beasts began to line up.

Walking With the Utmost Care

Although the herd of the elephants had crossed the river countless times, they found out that they still had to take precautions especially when there was a baby in the group. Their actions showed that they did not want to experience the same thing again.


The baby elephant walked between the bigger ones. The parents constantly had their eyes on the youngest member. Every step taken was precise. The locals felt like they were watching a show. However, they knew that the elephants were not tame and that everything they did was out of their concern for their kind.

The Act of Gratitude

The locals had spent over a day with the wild beasts. Exhausted as they were, the sight of the happy animals seemed to take their tiredness away. They wanted to watch the herd until they were out of sight.


Once the animals reached the other side of the river, an amazing thing happened. They all turned their heads as if they were saying goodbye. However, the locals knew more. The elephants had looked back to give their thanks. The crowd of watchers would always remember that act of gratitude.  

Another Surprise

Just as they thought they have seen everything, the locals were startled once more. The wild elephants formed a line. The watchers thought they were just resting again.


One by one, the wild elephants raised their trunks. What was happening? There was a moment of confusion.

The Trunk Salute

While there are animals that can easily show their appreciation towards humans, no one in the crowd expected how the wild beasts would react after the rescue mission. They thought they would just walk away with the baby elephant and get back to their way of living.

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But when they looked again, the elephants were raising their trunks and giving out a trumpet sound. The sound was happy and the sight was rare. The wild beasts were giving the rescuers a salute. It was more than enough. The spectators were lost for words.

An Unforgettable Day

The crowd of onlookers laughed with each other and congratulated one another for what they had achieved. They knew that everyone in the area gave their all to save the baby elephant. The salute from the massive animals was totally priceless. The grateful elephants continued on their procession. But that day, everyone knew that what happened would last in their memories forever.

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The herd of wild elephants began to look smaller and smaller to the eyes of the villagers. They began making their way into the forests. Nobody knew when they would be able to get as close to the wild beasts as they were that day.  The locals stayed on the other side of the river until the last elephant was out of sight. They had spent a considerable amount of time on the rescue mission and yet, their hearts were full. Every second was worth it.

Elephants Are Well-Loved Creatures in India

More than half of the elephants in the entire Asian continent live in India. These wild beasts are very dear creatures to the Indian people and they are everywhere. Considering how large Asia is, you can only imagine the number of elephants living in this area. There are domesticated elephants almost everywhere and 20% of them play major roles in local businesses. For this reason alone, the Indian people give importance to the animals’ welfare and survival. Aside from aiding their living, the elephants are also closely tied to the country’s culture and religion. Perhaps that explains why the locals couldn’t ignore the scream of help from the massive beasts. 

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Once all the work was done, the wildlife officials gave a message to thank all the volunteers. The officials were happy that ordinary people didn’t think twice about helping them and the poor animal. Despite some of them having lost a day at work, the atmosphere was light and merry. The people shook hands before they headed home. It was a rare occurrence in the village and the locals knew they would be telling their kids about what happened for years to come.

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