A brave forest warden has told how he lifted a newborn elephant onto his back because it was too weak to move.
Despite its charming look, the monster weighed more over 100kg, making it larger than guard Palanichamy Sarathkumar.
The animal had become separated from its mother after falling into a ditch in Mettupalayam, southern India.
Workers sought to re-unite the two elephants by encouraging the calf to walk after recovering it from the ditch.
But it rapidly became clear that it couldn’t walk even a short distance, so Mr Sarathkumar, 28, piggybacked it for roughly 50 metres.
‘It was really heavy,’ he told the BBC. I picked it up on the spur of the moment.
‘Everyone in my community is asking me the same thing right now. How did you manage to hoist an elephant?
‘I was worried about losing my equilibrium.’ But my pals jumped in and helped me control the calf and transport the animal.’
He went on to say that locals have been calling him to congratulate him after the video of him lifting the elephant went viral.
On December 12, Mr Sarathkumar’s anti-poaching squad received a call alerting them to a female elephant that was obstructing a road and seemed unhappy.
When they discovered the calf caught within a ditch, they managed to drive it back into the bush before investigating the region for other members of its family.
Four people first attempted to hoist the calf together during the subsequent rescue effort.
However, because there was a risk of their being attacked owing to the presence of an adult elephant nearby, Mr Sarathkumar chose to carry it alone.
The two animals were eventually reunited, with forest officials suggesting that the infant would have perished if they hadn’t been able to save it.