This is video of an elephant stuck in swamp as people try to rescue it. The elephant was a captive being hauled on a truck to a temple when it escaped and eventually fell into the swamp. Here is how "The News Minute" wrote about it:
"In the wee hours of Tuesday, Mullakkal Balakrishnan noticed that the lorry in which he was being transported had stopped on the road. After waiting for a few minutes, he decided to jump off the lorry, and ran amok. An hour later, he fell into a marsh and has been trapped in it ever since.
"Balakrishnan is a tusker owned by the Mullakkal temple under Travancore Devaswom Board in Alappuzha district, and the locals, mahouts, police, Devaswom representatives and officials of the forest department have been trying in vain to rescue him."
Rajeev N. Kurup posted a photo when the tusker was finally rescued, 17 hours after it fell into the swamp.
The issue became quite controversial. Here is Rajeev's account:
"He had been taken to the Thrikkakara Temple for the temple festival just ten days prior. When the incident happened, he was being loaded into the truck to be taken back to the Mullakkal Temple. Rescue operation is in progress. He broke the barricade, meant to hold him inside the truck and jumped out. There was chaos and panic in the locality during the tense two hours, that the elephant was chased by the keepers who were trying to capture him. He destroyed some vehicles on the road and demolished some of the compound walls of nearby homes. Sometime in the melee and confusion, the elephant fell into the nearby swamp. "The mahouts tried their best to pull the elephant out of the swamp but he got buried deeper. The elephant was stuck in the swamp for more than four hours.What is appalling is the lack of forest department and a cohesive effort to save the animals. The locals are tying to help, but the lack of a guided effort is not helping. Watching the news we can see that the poor animal is tiring out slowly. We hope we do not have another tragedy in the making."
Some posted their opinion that the elephant should never have been help captive, or that the animal would not have tried to run away if it had been treated well in captivity. One said this should not have been called a "rescue" for it was actually someone trying to reclaim their property. That raises a very good philosophical question. Is an captive elephant property? Or are people merely holding custody of free and wild creature because it can no longer, for some reason, be allowed to go free?
In such considerations we may find better ways to treat elephants.
Dr. Thomas Grant
Professor of Journalism at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College