Watch: Elephant's Incredible Rescue From Pit - "Hand Of God"

Karnataka Forest Department officials rescued an elephant after it fell into a mud pit in Kodagu district.

Watch: Elephant's Incredible Rescue From Pit - 'Hand Of God'

The officials stretched a hand of the JCB machine to push the elephant from behind.


A dramatic video of how forest department officials in Karnataka helped an elephant get out of a pit, using the “hand of God” is being widely shared on social media. The officials stretched a hand of the JCB machine to push the elephant from behind in its endeavour to climb up the mound of loose earth.

At first, the elephant resisted the help by swinging its trunk, but then accepted the help to slowly get out of the pit. After safely getting out of the pit, the animal turned around to fight the machine, mistaking it as a threat due to stress.

After a few seconds of gentle pushing and shoving, it retreated back into the forest. The officials also burst a small craker to nudge it away from the area and prevent any further escalation in tension with the elephant.

Indian Forest Service Office Praveen Kaswan praised the officials and said every such rescue operation “demands on-the-spot strategy”. The incident happened in Kodagu district.

His "Hand of God" reference was a spin on the phrase used by football legend Diego Maradona to describe a goal that he scored during the Argentina vs England quarter final match in 1986 World Cup.

The video has been “liked” by more than 6,000 Twitter users, including the official handle of JCB machines. It has been viewed more than 67,000 times.

Many Twitter users praised the effort by forest department officials and also had fun watching the elephant refusing outside help initially.

Often, forest department officials have to make quick decisions to successfully conduct a rescue operation in remote areas, where the availability of resources is limited. They innovate and try to salvage the situation from going worse.

Recently, forest officials rescued an elephant calf stuck in slush in Moleyur range of Bandipur Tiger Reserve in Karnataka. Using an earthmover, they pushed the animal gradually towards the edge of the slush where the ground was less slippery and helped it stand on its feet.