Locals in eastern India devised an ingenious rescue strategy after a calf fell into a watering hole in Jharkhand.
They dug a stairwell down the side of the well, which they constructed with a JCB digger and pumped meters of water for two hours to float the elephant to the top.
To the ecstatic howling of amazing spectators, the creature finally climbed out of the water and onto land before striding away to be reunited with its herd.
Videos from Bantoli in Gumla state’s Gumla district describe the incredible rescue operation.
The giant grey beast is discovered rolling about in the bottom of the well’s shallow water, seemingly distressed.
Local inhabitants rush to action and bring a hose, which releases water very sluggish into the huge farm well.
The video then cuts to show a well that has been filled up for almost two hours, and the elephant’s head popping out of the water.
The elephant is also able to use a portion of the slope that has been excavated by the JCB digger.
The calf attempts to get a grip on the sloshy earth with its front feet and, after a struggle, it manages to haul itself up and over onto the solid ground.
Hundreds of people, including children, have gathered to watch and scream as the beast is set free.
Eager to avoid being trampled by the disgruntled calf, they scurry backwards as it heaves itself to safety, but run after it as it lumbers off to join its herd.
It joins three other elephants walking down a dusty road. The joyful people continue to shout while the adorable creature walks gleefully in the background.