The well-known adage already stated that even a thousand sages will not be able to take out a stone thrown into a well, but a particularly brave group did succeed with great effort to save an elephant that fell into a well.

Several days ago, residents of Dharmapuri in southern India discovered to their consternation that an elephant roaming the area had tottered into a deep well. Apparently, the elephant did not notice the well covered with bushes and plunged straight into it.

Residents hearing the fallen elephant's cries immediately called for help, and in the meantime fed the elephant banana leaves that they threw down the well. The depth of the well is about 16 meters, and in order to get the elephant out of the narrow shaft a team of 50 people was needed. The crew slightly widened the well and even pumped out some of the water that was in it until they finally managed to maneuver the elephant out with the help of a crane.

The rescue operation ended up lasting over 12 hours as volunteers managed to tether the elephant's legs and hoist him out. At first the elephant tried to attack the rescue team, but with the help of a local doctor they were able to sedate the elephant and extract him out safely.

Perhaps not surprisingly, this is not the first time an elephant has fallen into a well. About two years ago there was a similar incident in Thailand where an elephant calf fell into a well. Fortunately, in that case it was a relatively small well and the elephant was rescued after only 3 hours. Urban expansion in many places in the world causes stray elephants to approach new places in search of food, and sometimes they even get drunk.

One can only hope that by time the residents will remember to cover the well with a lid durable enough to withstand even the weight of an elephant that's gone lost.