Last week, a baby elephant fell into an abandoned well in Thattekad, Kerala, a town in southern India. The calf had been trying to cross a river with the rest of her herd when she became stuck.
Awoken by the baby’s cries of distress, locals contacted government officials, and together they launched a massive rescue effort to reunite the family. During the five-hour-ordeal, workers used an earthmover to widen the hole and reduce the slope of the incline, making it easier for the little one to clamber out.
The calf’s mother and the rest of the herd remained at a safe distance, watching the rescuers and waiting anxiously for their reunion.
The poor baby must’ve been so exhausted after trying for nearly four hours to climb out of the hole on her own!
After working quickly to free the poor pachyderm, the baby gets back on solid ground and the entire clearing is filled with happy trumpeting. The little one takes off in a sprint to find her mother, who comes stampeding across the river to meet her clumsy calf.
Then, in an absolutely heart-melting moment of interspecies appreciation, the mother looks back and does something so sweet, saying thanks to the kind locals.
Watch what she does in the dramatic rescue video below.
Elephants truly are incredible creatures and clearly have the capacity to feel very strong emotions like sadness, joy, and gratefulness.
Share to spread happiness that this calf was reunited with her herd!