Villagers cheer as wild elephant rescues friend after falling into 20-foot-deep well

This is the heartwarming moment an elephant helps its friend escape from a well it had become trapped in.

The incident, a rare event caught on camera, occurred at a village near Sathyamangalam forest range in South India on June 20.

Three elephants from the same herd had fallen into a 20-feet agricultural well on the night of June 19.

Local resident Rangaswamy Gounder said: “We heard the elephants trumpeting in the night and saw three animals in the well this morning.”

The villagers alerted the local forest staff who promptly arrived with a digger and carved a path out of the well.

The oldest elephant of the three, a 25-year-old-cow, first climbed out easily and went to join her herd.

The second elephant, a 15-year-old female, then tried to climb the steep path.

A weaker animal, she struggled to climb, kept slipping back, and almost appeared to give up.

It was then the slightly older and stronger elephant came to support it. The third elephant stood behind firmly to stop her from sliding back and nudged her gently to climb up.

With a little help from a friend, she managed to find her grip and got out.

The third elephant then climbed out easily and followed her to the forest where the herd was waiting.

A large crowd stood near the well and noisily cheered on the animals as they struggled to reach safety.