A temple elephant that got trapped in a marsh after jumped off from the truck in which it was being transported was rescued after a herculean task that lasted for over 16 hours.
The elephant, Mullackal Balakrishnan was pulled up from the mire, in Thuravoor near Alappuzha, in a desperate rescue effort by over 30 mahouts and personnel of several government agencies.
The tusker got trapped in the swamp for over 16 hours after it broke free of the truck in which it was being transported. Mullackal Balakrishnan, owned by Mullakkal temple under Travancore Devaswom Board, was returning after taking part in the Thiruvonam festival at Thrikkakara Vamanamoorthi temple. Around 3.30 am the driver of the lorry in which the jumbo was being transported stopped at Thuravoor for some tea, and the elephant broke the safety barriers and jumped off the vehicle.
Balakrishnan then ran amok for over an hour during which he damaged the compound wall of a house and several vehicles. It went on a rampage for about 6 km and strayed into Ananthankari, a waterlogged area and got trapped in a mire of mud.
The bunds and lagoons made rescue operations difficult as it was not possible for the rescuers to manoeuvre around the mire. They decided to use ropes to heave up the trapped animal, but the jumbo became weak after few hours without food and water.
Finally, about 8 pm, in a final effort the jumbo was hauled up, and he was taken to an isolated spot for medication to revive its strength.