Indian Forest Guard Heroically Saves Baby Elephant

elephant calf had to be euthanized

A forest guard patrolling the jungles of Southern India recently made headlines by saving a baby elephant that had become separated from its mother and found itself trapped in a ditch. Palanichamy Sarathkumar who is just 28 years old has been lauded since it emerged that he rescued the baby elephant by carrying it on his back. People wanted to find out how he managed to carry an animal that weighs more than he does to safety.

Spur of the moment

Mr Sarathkumar said whilst the animal was extremely heavy he carried it on the spur of the moment. Fortunately for the critter, the calf was reunited with its mother later on.  Local television channels began showing a video of the guard lifting the video, which later made its way on to social media. Mr Sarathkumar said when he lifted the elephant he was afraid of losing his balance but fortunately colleagues helped to restrain the calf which enabled him to carry the animal.

Mama elephant alerted the team

The rescue took place last month following a call Mr Sarathkumar received as he was heading home following the end of the shift. The caller told him that a female adult elephant was blocking a road near a temple. Mr Sarathkumar and his team drove the elephant back into the jungle using firecrackers. The team then realised there was a calf trapped in a small ditch. He says the calf seemed tired and confused, so the rescue began by moving a big boulder that was blocking its path and then carried it out.

Tried to reunite mother and child

The team then realised the calf was the reason for the adult female elephant’s distress so they sought to reunite mother with child. To begin with four people tried to carry the calf to the other side of the road where they thought the calf’s mother could be found. But they were worried that she may attack since she was nearby. As a result, instead of risking the lives of four people Mr Sarathkumar decided to carry the calf across the road by himself.

Mother could not be found

He carried the calf for about 50 metres, eventually putting him down by a watering hole in the hopes that the mother would find her baby. The team waited a few hours but unfortunately she did not turn up. They thought perhaps the mother sensed the presence of humans and was reluctant to appear so the team left the spot. The next day when they went back to check, the calf was no longer there but they did find the track marks of an adult elephant on the forest floor so it is believed that perhaps they were reunited before dawn and retreated into the forest.

The guy is a hero

Elephants are extremely evolved animals that are very social, living in large herds. Forest officials say the baby elephant would have most certainly died had there not been an intervention. Mr Sarathkumar works in the Anti-Poaching Squad and made the decision to join the forest department after witnessing first hand the kind of conflict that can occur between humans and elephants. In case you are wondering, he weighs just 80 kilograms and the calf weighed over 100 kilos.

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