A challenging rescue operation in which JCB machines were used saved the life of an elephant that had fallen into a ditch in the Peruaabhadi reserve forest within the Sundargarh reserve forest area on the Odisha-Jharkhand border.
The elephant struggled for nearly seven hours to come out of the ditch before finally being rescued on Sunday noon.
The JCB was used to create a ramp-like passage for the elephant to walk out of the ditch. Creating the ramp without hurting the pachyderm was the biggest challenge before forest officials.
Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), Sundergarh, Pradeep Mirase told The Telegraph: “The elephant was a part of the herd from Jharkhand. The herd came to the area in search of food but one of the members of the herd fell into the ditch early on Sunday morning around 5am. It got trapped in the muddy ditch. Later locals informed our forest officials and also posted photos of the animal in distress.”
Mirase said: “As the ditch was small and did not have much depth — it was less than one metre deep — we decided to use a JCB to create a ramp for the elephant to come out. The entire rescue operation was completed in half an hour.”
The DFO said that handling the crowd at the spot was tough. “The ditch had been dug in a private plot by someone to carry out some construction activities. Later the ditch got filled with water. No one had thought that an elephant would one day fall into the ditch."
Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF) Susanta Nanda tweeted the photos of the elephant rescued from the ditch with the help of the JCB.