Elephant rescues calf from well in Malayattoor; local residents hold protest

Mother elephant walks away with calf after rescuing it from a well in Malayattoor. Photo: Manorama

Kochi: A mother elephant rescued its calf, which had fallen into a well at Malayattoor's Illithode on Wednesday. The incident occurred early morning at a private company's well adjacent to Pandala Saju's house in Illithode. Following the calf's fall, other wild elephants remained nearby.

Despite efforts by locals to disperse them, the elephants lingered around the well. Eventually, the mother elephant managed to pull the calf to safety. Once the calf was out, the herd retreated into the forest.

Protests mount
Local residents detained forest department officials when they arrived at the site for inspection. The protesters expressed frustration, citing frequent elephant presence and alleging inaction despite previous complaints.

Residents have refused to back down unless the District Collector arrives for reconciliatory talks. They claim that despite assurances from the DFO six months ago, when another elephant fell into a well, no measures were taken to prevent animal incursions. Protesters also accused forest officials of arriving at the site hours after the elephant fell into the well on Wednesday.

Though the Perumbavoor SP held discussions with the public in the morning, the protesters are upset about the lack of a mechanism to warn them of approaching elephants, especially since food sources in the forest have diminished substantially.

"We are afraid to step out after 6 pm. There are at least 150 school-going children here. Their lives are also at stake," residents said.

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