Udayavni Special

When a Tamil Nadu forest guard carried a baby elephant on his shoulders

Team Udayavani, Apr 14, 2020, 3:45 PM IST

In December 2017, a forest guard in Tamil Nadu saved a baby elephant by lifting it out of a ditch and carrying it on his shoulders to reunite it with its mother. The heartwarming story of Palanichamy Sarathkumar has resurfaced on social media and is winning hearts again, thanks to a tweet from Indian Forest Services officer Dipika Bajpai.

On Monday, Ms Bajpai shared a flashback photo of Palanichamy Sarathkumar carrying the baby elephant that weighed more than him. The photo has created a buzz on the microblogging platform over two years after the incident took place, with many thanking the forest guard for his work.


According to BBC, Mr Sarathkumar was part of a forest team stationed near Mettupalayam in Tamil Nadu when, in December 12, 2017, he received a call about a female elephant blocking a road. He and his colleagues drove the elephant away with firecrackers and searched the area for more elephant, which is when they found the calf stuck in a ditch.

“We saw this calf stuck inside a small ditch,” said Mr Sarathkumar. “It was tired and confused so we moved a big boulder that was blocking its way and brought it out.”

But the baby elephant was too weak to walk, and its mother was nowhere to be found.

“Initially four of us carried the calf,” said Mr Sarathkumar. “We wanted to take it to the other side of the road to reunite it with its mother. But there was a danger of being attacked as she was still nearby.

So, the forest guard decided it would be safer if he alone went to reunite the baby elephant with its mother. After carrying it about 50 metres on his shoulder, he put the elephant calf – that weighed over a 100 kgs – down near a watering hole. The calf was soon reunited with its mother.

The heartwarming story, since it was posted on Twitter by Ms Bajpai, has earned Palanichamy Sarathkumar a ton of praise.


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