Elephants are known to be some of the gentlest creatures when it comes to their interaction with humans, but they aren’t so friendly when their baby is in danger. So when locals of a small Indian village noticed a baby elephant trapped in a well, they had to risk their lives to help it.

The elephant, who ways ‘hundreds of pounds,’ probably got stuck the night before. The mother was seen trying to pull her young out, but because of slick mud and loose sand, she had no firm footing. Everything she tried put her more at risk and made the baby worse.

“The area around the side of the well had too much sand and mud,” said one villager who helped rescue the baby elephant. “Whenever the mother approached the well, she couldn’t get a firm footing because she kept sinking into the muddy ground. We tried to get her to move out of the way, but she became aggressive at our presence.”

Attempting to get near the baby while the mom was so upset was a daring move, but villagers wanted to help. “These wild elephants are perfectly harmless in most situations, but when one of their young is in danger, they have been known to lash out at humans,” a local said. “A man was killed a few months ago after he drove his motorbike too close to a baby.”

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With darkness closing in and the mother getting more agitated, villagers decided they couldn’t do anything until morning, so a group stayed to look after the mother while everyone else decided to regroup in the morning.

When morning came, the baby was officially trapped for 11 hours. Over the night, the mom tried another rescue attempt that nearly buried the baby. Thankfully, the baby managed to find enough strength to pull itself above the extra mud and debris.

Everyone decided the only option was to get the mother away from her young long enough to put new material in the places where the mother was slipping. So how did the villagers get her moved?

“We put our heads together, and someone suggested we try and distract her with some food,” said one rescuer. “We knew it was a risk, because even if she did move away to eat, there was nothing stopping her charging back when she saw us approach the well, but it was a risk we were willing to take.”

A local banana farm owner sent workers out to chop down a bunch of fruit and sent it to the rescuers. “We know the elephants here love bananas, so we thought it was the perfect food to act as a distraction.” Although bananas are probably enticing to elephants, I’m sure this mother was also starving after her strenuous work.

screen-shot-2016-11-21-at-7-50-28-amThe elephant was indeed distracted, so villagers rushed to the well and began moving the dirt and sand. “We worked frantically, because there was no way of telling when the mother would return.” Just moments before the mother returned from her snack, the workers finished and left the area…now they wait.

Stress and excitement mixed as onlookers patiently waited to see if their hard work paid off. Then it happened! “We were overjoyed when the mother, now able to get close enough to the well with the soil removed, was able to get a firm grasp around her baby with her trunk.” Onlookers from all over began cheering as the mother was able to lift her young to safety.

We’re so thankful these villagers were willing to risk their safety to help this mother and her young. Do you think they did the right thing? SHARE if you agree with them!