By Bilal Kuchay
This is the heartwarming moment Indian forest officials rescued an elephant calf hours after it had fallen into a ditch.
The female calf was found by villagers near Bhuggalwala in Haridwar in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand on Tuesday morning after they heard its anguished cries.
The villagers informed the local forest department after which a team of officials rushed to the spot to rescue the animal.
Though the ditch was dry and shallow, the calf couldn’t come out on its own as it had fallen into it upside down.
Dramatic video footage shows the rescuers initially digging a hole around the calf manually before bringing a JCB digger to the site to rescue the elephant.
In the video, the elephant calf can be seen flinching in fear during the rescue operation before swiftly running out of the ditch and towards a dry river when the soil was removed.
The animal was later reunited with its herd.
Santan Sonkar, Director at the Raja Ji National Park, said: “The elephant calf had fallen into the ditch upside down that is why it was not able to come out on its own.
“It took us three hours to rescue the animal and we are happy that baby elephant was reunited with its herd.”