YUNNAN PROVINCE, China (NBC News) – Forestry police in southwest China Tuesday rescued three wild Asian elephants that had been trapped in a hilltop pond for two days.
The police rushed to the site after receiving a report from villagers on Sunday, only to find the three animals, two adults and one baby, struggling in the 16-foot-deep concrete pond while several other elephants were standing beside and reaching out their noses to help.
The rescuers had to postpone their operation to Monday due to heavy rain and the threat of attack from other elephants.
After accessing the situation with helicopters and drones, the police decided to drive away the other elephants with firecrackers and break one side of the pond to discharge water.
Bananas and other food were also sent to the trapped animals.
The rescuers started to break one side of the pond with an excavator Tuesday and finally freed the animals in the afternoon.
The three elephants walked out of the pond and into the nearby forest.
The Asian elephant is a first-class national protected animal in China.
It estimated that about 300 wild Asian elephants live in Yunnan Province.