This story originally appeared at American Web Media.
Life is filled with seemingly insurmountable challenges. Writing a novel. Running a marathon. And, in India, digging a baby elephant out of a 30-foot well.
This strange ordeal unfolded when villagers noticed a herd of elephants anxiously waiting near the edge of a village farm. When they went over to investigate, they saw the baby elephant had fallen down into the farmer’s well.
The larger animals were starting to panic because they couldn’t do anything to help their youngest member, meanwhile the baby was desperate to be reunited with the rest of her herd. For a while, the humans couldn’t figure out how to help, either.
Finally, forest officials got involved. But while the authorities arrived bearing excavators, enthusiasm, and plenty of onlookers, the equipment wasn’t long enough to lift the baby out of such a deep hole.
Fortunately, right at that moment, somebody offered a “silly” solution. “What if we dug a ramp so the baby elephant could walk out?”
And nobody else had a better idea.
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Rescuers spent the next six hours digging a hole into the ground in order to assemble the ramp. But when diggers got too close to the young elephant, they were forced to improvise.
The only other thing they could think to do at this point was drop dirt in the hole, essentially creating a “footstool” for the animal to step up on. Fortunately, the creature, although frightened, seemed to understand what to do. He stepped up onto the dirt, out on the ramp, and was reunited with his herd.
Watch exactly how this rescue unfolded in the incredible video below. It really took a village!
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