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Another jumbo calf falls into irrigation canal, rescued in Erode
A day after the Forest Department rescued a baby elephant from an irrigation canal, yet another jumbo calf fell into the same canal in Erode district on Sunday.
Forest Department officials said that the seven-month-old elephant fell into the Varattu Pallam canal while attempting to consume water around 8 am on Sunday. With water sources drying up fast, a herd of around ten elephants visited the canal to quench their thirst.
The calf jumbo could not climb up the canal made of cement walls, which was slippery. As the terrified calf kept trumpeting, the adult elephants, in a touching display of affection, tried to lift out the jumbo with their trunk. But all their efforts to bring out the calf was in vain.
Local villagers who spotted the dramatic scene informed the Anthiyur forest officials. A team led by Anthiyur Forest Ranger Balakrishnan arrived to help out the stranded calf. However, the elephant herd refused to let volunteers and forest department staff to go near the calf jumbo. They tried to attack the staff with fury.
Panicked staff and villagers, who gathered at the spot, took to their heels as the elephants came charging. Following this, the Forest Department fired crackers and drove away the adult elephants into the forest cover. While all other elephants retreated into the jungle, the mother elephant alone kept returning in search of its calf.
The staff then got into the canal and attempted to lift the calf in vain. Then, an earth mover was engaged to demolish the concrete side walls of the canal and a ramp-like mud structure was created for the calf jumbo to climb out easily.
After over three hours, the calf came out and moved into the forests. Officials expressed hope that the calf jumbo would join its herd in the forest cover.
This incident comes a day after a four-month-old calf jumbo, which was part of a five-member herd, fell into the canal in a similar fashion while attempting to consume water on Saturday.
Water from Varattu Pallam Dam has been opened through the canal in minimum quantity for irrigation purpose in Anthiyur area. The flow of water in the canal has been attracting a steady stream of elephants to the canal to quench thirst.