Newborn elephant calf falls into reservoir, rescued by rubber tappers
Perambra: On Tuesday morning, rubber tapping labourers of Plantation Corporation of Perambra estate turned heroes as they rescued a new born elephant from a reservoir. It is understood that the calf could have tumbled down the reservoir soon after birth. Later, the forest authorities had to feed the calf glucose solution as it became too weak to get back on its feet.
The workers, who reached the estate by 5 in the morning, found the elephant calf drowning in the water and its mother holding on to its baby, not ready to let it go. Understanding the graveness of the situation, workers in the estate P.P. Shaji, M.M. Riju and P.C. Binu got down to the river, putting their own lives at risk. The elephant on seeing the men approaching the river, went into the forest, probably as it understood the intent of the workers. The workers successfully rescued the baby elephant which was barely a few hours old at that point.
As the news about the elephant and its rescue went around, locals and other workers rushed to the 22nd ward in the estate. This could have prompted the mother elephant, which was hiding in the forest until then, to retreat. Although, later the forest authorities under the leadership K.M. Babu removed locals from the area and created an environment conducive for the mother to return and take the calf back to the woods, it did not arrive after several hours.
The calf which was very active till noon, collapsed in the afternoon and was unable to get back on its feet. The forest officials drew the ire of the locals as they initially did not provide water or milk to the new born, instead they were waiting for the mother to return. Later, upon the advise of a doctor, glucose solution was provided to the baby, according to forest authorities.