Dhenkanal: A baby elephant incidentally fell into an open well in Mahulapunji forest under Sadar forest range in Dhenkanal district last night.
The animal aged about six to seven years old is suspected to have come from the nearest forest after being separated from the herd.
Locals spotted the animal inside the well in the morning and informed forest officials who rushed to the spot and took stock of the situation. The officials hired a JCB machine and engaged it in the rescue operation.
When the JCB started digging the well to rescue the animal, locals opposed the move as they use it in irrigation purpose. They demanded adequate compensation and alternative arrangement for irrigation before digging it.
Tension prevailed in the area for quite some times due to the locals’ protest.
Later, Dhenkanal DFO Rinku Kumari rushed to the spot and discussed with the irate villagers following which the rescue operation resumed.
On the other hand, the elephant’s condition is deteriorating in the well as it spent almost a night inside the narrow well.
The DFO said the jumbo will be rescued soon and her health will be checked up properly before it was released to forest.