Elephants never forget. Who hasn’t heard that old saying? It’s true.
An elephant’s size belies that fact that they are not only sentient creatures, but they share the same emotions and feelings that we humans have. They enjoy friendships, fall in love, have happy days and sad ones. They are very smart and capable of figuring out problems.
Elephants who have been separated for decades recognize each other instantly and rejoice. They grieve the loss of their herd members. And the love they have for their offspring is every bit as deep as that of any human mother for their child.
One elephant in the Chatra district of India proved that devotion towards family with her actions. Villagers at first had no idea what had possessed the mother elephant to stand in one place and dig for over 11 hours.
When they finally were able to look down into the hole, they couldn’t believe it!
Her calf had fallen into a well and the mother couldn’t reach it to pull it out. Proving that blood is indeed thicker than water, the distraught mother worked throughout the night and into the next day.
Never at any moment did she show any sign that she might give up. Walking away leaving her baby to die alone was never an option.
First, she dug all around the hole trying to make it big enough that the baby could walk out. Sadly, she couldn’t see into the well with enough clarity to realize that she was making the problem worse instead of better.
The dirt loosened by her efforts to widen the hole opening and make a sort of ramp for the baby to walk out was falling down into the well on top of the baby. For a while, she was in danger of smothering her baby instead of getting it out of trouble.
But, eventually, the fresh dirt did fill in the hole a bit, bringing her baby at least a little closer to the surface. Still, she couldn’t quite reach it to help, and she couldn’t get the hole dug well enough to enable it to come out on its own.
Uttering elephant words of encouragement to her baby, the devoted mother worked with all her might to get her baby out of danger. From 9:00 at night until well after daylight the next day, the mother worked tirelessly.
She never stopped “talking” to her baby, reminding it that “mama is here” and that “everything would be all right.” No, we can’t speak Elephant. But we’re pretty sure that her message is universal.
Once local villagers were alerted to the strange actions of an elephant by their well, they came out in droves. For a while, they could only watch helplessly from a distance because the mother was so protective of her endangered calf.
The crowd grew as word swept through the village about the elephant that wouldn’t stop digging beside their well. But, no one could get close enough to the frantic elephant to see what was going on. Attempts to help were futile.
Eventually, the villagers gathered a truckload of bananas that they parked away from the well to distract the mother. Knowing she needed strength to maintain her vigil and rescue efforts, the mother finally left the well to eat.
As soon as she was out of sight, rescuers rushed in. They were shocked to see the weakening baby stranded at the bottom of the well. They quickly reinforced the sides of the well. Then they reshaped enough dirt so that the mother could reach it to pull the baby from the well using her trunk.
The mother came racing back just as they finished. The villagers retreated to a safe distance to watch as the mother reached into the well and brought her baby up to safety.
Once the baby was safely beside its mother, the villagers erupted in cheers. The mother tiredly waved her trunk at them before leading her relieved and hungry baby back towards the jungle.
Watch this Mama’s incredible rescue –
Don’t you just love a happy ending?