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According to CNN, the elephant stumbled into the 50-foot-high well by accident while chasing a pack of dogs in the village of Panchapalli. The Rajkumar district forest official explained that the well had no fence or wall around it and that it was covered with buses, which made it easy for the elephant to miss. It was a deep and narrow well,” Rajkumar said. “We were informed by locals early Thursday morning and we could not get the elephant back until late at night.”

Fortunately for this elephant, his story had a happy ending. Forest workers began clearing the bush so they could get to the well before pumping water from the well. According to The Independent, the elephant attacked the pipes, causing the water to continue to leak. Rescuers fed the animal coconut leaves while it was holding it to keep it calm before seizing the elephant and using a crane to lift it. The operation forced the workers to use two excavators, two trucks and cranes to bring the large animal back to safety.

“He turned out to be healthy and active when we watched him for three hours after the rescue,” Rajkumar said.

Wild animals making their way across more urban landscapes isn’t the only result of rapid deforestation. Last September, a report by the World Wildlife Fund found wild animal numbers in a “catastrophic decline” with no signs of slowing. Dr Andrew Terry, director of conservation at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), told the BBC that the decline was very clear evidence that human activity was having a devastating effect on natural habitats. This makes animal protection areas and programs more important than ever.

“If nothing changes, populations will undoubtedly continue to decline, leading to the extinction of wildlife and threatening the integrity of the ecosystems on which we depend,” said Dr. Terry.

According to The Independent, the elephant that was removed from the well has since been returned to the wild in the nearby Hosur forest.

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