This is the incredible story of Palanichamy Sarathkumar, a forest guard who has gained widespread attention for his heroic act of rescuing a baby elephant from a ditch by carrying it out.
Many were amazed at how he managed to lift an animal that was larger and heavier than himself.
Palanichamy Sarathkumar, 28 years old and weighing 80kg, defied the odds by carrying the 100kg elephant on his back. His act of strength and courage garnered immense support from people around the world.
Mr. Sarathkumar is a member of a forest team stationed near the Ooty hill station, close to Mettupalayam, India. His bravery and determination have earned him praise and admiration from his village and beyond.
The rescue unfolded when Mr. Sarathkumar received a call while leaving for home after a night shift. He was informed that a female elephant was blocking the road near the Vanabhadra Kaliamman temple. With the help of his colleagues, they used firecrackers to guide the elephant back into the woods.
During their search for other elephants, they discovered a calf stuck in a small ditch. The exhausted and confused calf needed assistance, so they cleared a big boulder that was obstructing its path and successfully brought it out.
Their intention was to reunite the calf with its mother, realizing that the separation was causing distress. However, the calf was too weak to move, and it was risky for all four of them to attempt the reunion.
Taking matters into his own hands, Mr. Sarathkumar decided to carry the calf across the road by himself, covering a distance of approximately 50 meters. He carefully placed the calf near a watering hole, hoping the mother would find it.
Despite waiting for hours, the mother did not appear. Understanding that their presence might be hindering her return, they decided to withdraw. The next day, Mr. Sarathkumar found that the calf was no longer there, but he spotted the footprints of a big elephant on the forest floor.
It was evident that they had been reunited before dawn and disappeared into the forest.
Elephants are highly social animals, living in large herds. Forest officials noted that if it weren’t for Mr. Sarathkumar and his team’s intervention, the calf would likely not have survived.
Inspired by the human-elephant conflict in Tamil Nadu, Palanichamy Sarathkumar joined the forest department and now serves in the Anti-Poaching Squad. His dedication to wildlife conservation and his remarkable act of rescuing the baby elephant exemplify the crucial role of individuals in protecting and preserving our natural world.