Chennai: A forest guard, Palanichamy Sarathkumar, is winning accolades from netizens after pictures of him rescuing an elephant calf went viral on the social media.
The incident pertains to a forest team in Mettupalayam of Ooty hill station. On the night of December 12, the team received a call that an elephant was blocking the road near the Vanabhadra Kaliamman temple. He and his colleagues managed to drive the elephant back in to the jungle using fire crackers. The team then searched the area for other elephants and found an elephant calf in a small ditch.
The incident in the words of Sarathkumar:
"The calf was tired and confused so we moved a big boulder that was blocking its way and brought it out. We realised the calf was the reason for the female's distress and started trying to reunite them, but the calf was too weak to walk. Initially four of us carried the calf but we wanted to take it to the other side of the road to reunite it with its mother. But there was a danger of being attacked as she was still nearby. So, instead of all four of us being put at risk, I decided to carry the calf by myself across the road. After carrying the baby elephant for about 50 metres, I put it down near a water hole, hoping the mother would find it. We waited many hours but she didn't turn up. Sensing our presence might have been making her hesitant, we all withdrew. Next day when I went there, the calf wasn't there. But I could see the pugmarks of a big elephant on the forest floor. It seems they were reunited before dawn and slipped away into the forest."
As the video of Sarathkumar started airing on television, congraturlatory messages started from his village and the phone continued to ring. However, the one question everyone asked was how could he carry a calf weighing over 100 kgs. He replied in all humility that he only acted at the spur of the moment and that his colleagues helped in restraining the animal.
Telangana IT minister KT Rama Rao tweeted on the incident calling Sarathkumar the "real Baahubali".