Drivers on a highway in India had quite an experience when an elephant herd blocked the road for nearly three hours. 

According to IndiaTimes, the elephant herd blocked the NH 130 in the Korba district of Chhattisgarh on Thursday (September 15th) after a calf fell into a ditch on the side of the road. It was noted that around 20 elephants were crossing the highway when the calf had the tumble. The herd had attempted to rescue the calf but was unable to do it on its own. 

In response to being able to help the calf on its own, the elephant herd refused to move from the road and brought traffic to a complete stop. Drivers eventually alerted the Forest Officials and a team of rescuers was dispatched to help save the calf. The team, which consisted of 20 personnel and two earth movers, had to approach the herd with caution. Eventually, the animals moved away and let the earth movers help the calf out of the ditch. Officials were able to tie a rope around the calf’s neck and pull it out of the ditch. I two reunited with its mother and the herd afterward. 

A resident shared a video of the ordeal on Twitter. “So glad to see the little giant rescued and reunited with momma elephant! The herd had blocked off some parts o the highway seeing their little champ in distress. Kudos to everyone who helped the baby [elephant] in Chhattisgarh’s Korba District.” 

Although it was a touching experience, officials say this is the second such incident to occur in Chhattisgarh this week. Over at the Jashpur District, a one-month-old elephant calf was separated from its herd. And it ended up walking into a village. Residents were seen playing with the animal. 

Rescued Elephant Calf Was Rejected by Its Mother 

Following its adventure in the Jashpur District, the elephant calf was unfortunately rejected by its mother when upon being reunited. 

It was revealed that the team working to reduce human-animal conflict made several attempts to reunite the elephant calf with its herd. But the group continued to reject it. It was noted that while the herd is considered a “closely knit family” it is unusual for them to reject a member of the group. 

However, there have been multiple documented cases where elephant herds reject lost calves as humans attempted to reunite them. The reason for the rejection remains unclear. However, it is speculated that the herd feels that if the separated calf has a low survival chance, it will ultimately reject it. 

Despite the rejection, a spokesperson of Wildlife SOS told IndiaTimes that its team will try to reunite the elephant calf with the herd again. If the attempt fails, the organization will move the baby to a shelter.