Vavuniya, Sri Lanka — An elephant and her baby were rescued after falling and being trapped in a dry well. Children from a nearby village discovered the elephants and alerted their parents who contacted local government officials.
Rescuers arrived within hours and used a backhoe to dig a path for the elephants to walk out. It is unknown how long the elephants were trapped in the well, but they faced certain death from starvation and dehydration if it had not been for the rescuers.
According to a 2011 national survey conducted by Sri Lanka’s Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC), there are over 5,800 elephants roaming free in the island nation. They are a protected species. And under the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance, anyone caught trapping or killing an elephant faces a fine of $4500 or imprisonment of up to 5 years or both.