Baripada, Sep 6: A four-month old elephant calf was up the creek when it broke the protective ring of the adults and fell into the rocky pit inside the buffer zone of the Simlipal National Park and tiger reserve on Sep 3. It was the wisdom and skill of a big herd of elephant that saved the four-month old. Efforts to rescue the calf from the pit by a team of five forest officials on the next day proved abortive as four adult elephants surrounded the pit and prevented the team to come near the pit.
The animals broke the serene and calm atmosphere in the densely wooded forest in the Bidubhandar block by repeatedly raising alarm calls through their loud trumpets.
And soon, a big herd of seventeen adult pachyderms congregated near the rocky pit yesterday where the cub was trapped, in response to the alarm calls made by herd in distress.
Residents of Gohirapal village, hardly two kilometers away from the pit also confirmed that they heard the loud trumpets of the elephants for quite a long during the late hours on Thursday night.
On Friday morning when the team visited the spot to renew their effort to rescue the cub, they to their utter surprise found the cub already lifted from the pit and escorted back to denser cover.
Bangriposi Forest Range Officer Ram Chandra Murmu said ''when we reached the spot, we could trace at least seventeen footprints of different diameters that confirmed the presence of 17 adult pachyderms on the spot.'' '' We were further surprised to find that the animals had filled up the pit by dumping branches and twigs of trees into the pit. The herd had also put some soil at the top surface of the pit in order to make sure that the cub would not face any risk in the future''.
It was clear from the evidences left on the spot that the adults formed a big chain to pull up the cub from the pit, the Range Officer said.
Similar intresting stories of the elephants entering into pit and forming of chains by the adults to rescue the offspring trapped in rocky pit in Simlipal's forest floor had also been reported in the past by former Field Director, Late Sarojraj Chaudhury, sources said.