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Sunday, April 2, 2017

great rescue of elephant that fell into 50 feet well in Coimbatore ! Kudos !!

My love for elephants knows no bounds ! ~ and topping the list would always be the majestic Azhwar of Sri Parthasarathi swami temple, Triplicane that passed away in 1977.

Downunder, Taronga Western Plains staff in Dubbo are in mourning following the death of the zoo’s longest resident.Cuddles the elephant was Australia’s last surviving African elephant. Thought to be about 46 years old, she was euthanised  following an age-related illness.“Cuddles was a well known resident of the zoo and much loved by staff, volunteers and visitors alike,” the zoo said in a statement.Dubbo zoo vets had developed a special aged care plan for Cuddles and two other Asian elephants advanced in age - Burma and Gigi. Over the past week however, her health began to fail following digestive complications.Cuddleshad  arrived at the Dubbo zoo the same year it opened, in 1977. She was shipped from Britain with two other female African elephants, Yum Yum and Cheri.

Away at Sandiego, the trust which organised the transfer of Mila,  the elephant to Zoo is pleased she got to live her final years as her former trainer wanted her to. The African elephant was 44 when she died in America this week - relatively young for an elephant in captivity. Mila was an ex-circus elephant who spent her last years in New Zealand under the care of Dr Helen Schofield, director of  Franklin Zoo & Wildlife Sanctuary, where her natural elephant behaviours and free choice were encouraged. 

Back home, there is something to cheer as an  elephant, which accidentally fell into a 45 feet deep well in a village on the outskirts of Coimbatore, was rescued by forest and fire personnel on Thursday.The 10-year-old male elephant, part of a herd which came in search of water in Kovanur village, accidentally fell into the dry well on Tuesday night and was noticed by the villagers on Thursday morning, after it trumpeted. Efforts by forest department and Fire and Rescue department officials to bring it up, failed to bear fruit on Thursday due to non-availability of necessary equipment and personnel, forest department officials said.  

Indian Express reports that Clockwork precision and deft handling helped Coimbatore forest officials rescue an elephant calf after a five hour-long rescue operation from a 50-foot-deep dry well at Kovanur in Periyanacikenpalayam forest range in Coimbatore  on Thursday afternoon. After getting first-aid, the little jumbo headed straight to the forest amid applause from NGO volunteers and local villagers, who stayed put for over five hours while the officials carried out the arduous and risky rescue operation.

If there were any nerves, the officials did not show signs of it as the first round of the operation was ably managed by K Asokan, veterinarian of Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve (STR), who administered a tranquilizer shot that sedated the little one around 10.15 am – nearly 30 hours after it fell into the well. E Vijayaragavan, veterinarian of Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR) assisted Asokan.An hour later, when the effects of the tranquilizer started kicking in, four forest staff were lowered into the well. They deftly tied belts around the animal’s chest and stomach – a risky operation that could have cost the pachyderm its life. Experts say lifting an elephant using a rope is a difficult task, as pachyderms do not have pleural space. Any kind of pressure on the chest and sternum for more than 10-15 minutes can lead to suffocation, and death. Hence, placing the ropes deftly without putting the elephant’s life at risk was an arduous task. Moreover, exact placement of rope and shifting weight to stomach too was very crucial.

The sedative – Xylazine – was used to induce sleep, said the vets. The precaution was taken as there was a crowd of by-standers and any loud noise could have disturbed the jumbo to disastrous consequences. According to S Ramasubramanian, District Forest Officer, Coimbatore, “Though the animal fell into a 50-foot-deep well, the animal seems not to have suffered an internal haemorrhage. After bring the little one out, both veterinarians applied ointment to the bruises on its forehead. We also administrated injections of vitamins, pain killer and long acting antibiotic. The combination drugs would have effect for at least three more days.” Singling out fire and rescue service department for showering praise, he said, “They helped us by deftly lowering forest staff inside the well using a rope.

They were at the ready to rescue the staff, in case there was an attack. However, the animal cooperated with us,” he said. Stating that the animal showed no sign of external injury, he said that the pachyderm went straight into the forest. “A team has been formed to monitor it. It will get reunited with its herd soon,” he hoped.
With regards – S. Sampathkumar
24th Mar 2017

Inputs from Indian Express; photos from Dinamalar and Dinathanthi.

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