Elephant well thumb

  • An elephant has been rescued from a 55ft well in India.
  • The animal fell in because the well was hidden by bushes and has no fence.
  • It took 50 people 14 hours to rescue the elephant using a crane and belts, according to the BBC.
  • The elephant is unharmed and has now been released into the forest, Rajkumar, the district forest officer, told Reuters.
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An elephant was lifted out of a 16m (55ft) deep well in India in a 14-hour rescue mission.

The operation, in India's southern Tamil Nadu state, involved 50 people, a crane, and belts, according to the BBC.

The young male elephant had fallen into the well in a village bordering a forest in Tamil Nadu's Dharmapuri district because bushes hid it, Rajkumar, the district forest officer, told Reuters.

Video footage of the rescue shows the huge mammal being gently lifted out of the deep well and placed safely on the ground to cheers from the 100-strong crowd watching — he was unharmed and has now been released into a nearby forest, the BBC reported.

"It was a deep and narrow well," Rajkumar told Reuters. "We were informed by locals early on Thursday and were able to retrieve the elephant only late in the night."

The rescue team began by clearing the bushes draining the water from the well and checking the elephant was healthy, according to Indian Express.

Food was lowered down, and he was then sedated by a vet to be lifted out.

"It was found to be healthy and active when we monitored it for three hours after the rescue," said Rajkumar.

This isn't the first time elephants in the area have fallen into wells — there have been two similar incidents in the past year. 

Animals are increasingly being seen close to human settlements in India due to urbanization, deforestation, and growing village populations, according to Reuters.

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