Video Credit: AsiaWire
This is the moment a lone elephant finds itself trapped in a reservoir after it fell in while having a drink of water.
A herd of distressed Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) were heard by local villagers in the town of Liushun, which is in Pu’er City’s Simao District in south-western China’s Yunnan Province, on the morning of 7th October.
Forest ranger Yang Zhongping was called to the scene.
He said: “When I arrived at 7:15am, I heard elephants trumpeting, but I couldn’t get close because it was very foggy.
“I could hear water splashing and suspected an elephant had fallen into the reservoir.”
The Asiastic elephant standing in the middle of the pond, which is used to irrigate neary crop, was later seen trapped within the walls of the 4-metre (13-foot) deep structure.
However, Yang and members of the Pu’er Forestry and Grassland Administration could not begin rescue work until some 12 hours later, as they could not risk encountering the herd of 17 to 18 elephants nearby.
They monitored the stranded animal with a drone until they were certain it would be safe to begin the rescue using a single excavator.
Footage shows the digger chipping away at the concrete wall of the reservoir, creating a small gap from which the elephant later escapes.
Forestry worker Zhou Zhitao said: “When we brought the excavator over, the elephant became very distressed and was doing circles in the water.
“It also charged the excavator scoop a few times and only stopped after about 10 minutes when it realised we were trying to save it. It then stood at the back and waited.”
The Asian elephant, which was thrown maize as a distraction, walked out of the pond about 20 minutes later.
Zhou said the elephant herds often gather in the area due to the surrounding crops, which were specially planted as a source of food for the local Asian elephant population.
The elephant is believed to have been pushed into the reservoir as the large herd gathered around to drink from it.
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