End of the week heartwarmers: Rescuers save baby elephant trapped in ditch, sugar glider pretends to fly

If you watch the national news, you’ll have noticed that they end every broadcast with a piece of feel-good news, as if to palliate the horrors of what’s reported before. Well, I can do that too: this afternoon we’ll have two feel-good pieces to end a dreary week (actually, the sun has come out in Chicago this afternoon).

Here’s a video in which a group of nice people in India use their wits to rescue an Asian elephant calf who fell into a ditch. They use a backhoe to raise the level of the dirt underneath the youngster, eventually allowing him to scramble out. Listen to the herd as they greet him with loud trumpeting! The note below indicates that the elephants are “saluting” the rescuers with thanks, and we can debate the gratitude bit, but clearly they’re happy to get the baby back again.

YouTube notes:

Wildlife Officials rescue baby elephant from a ditch. Elephant herd salutes the men before leaving In Kerala, India, a baby elephant falls into a ditch (or an abandoned well) and gets trapped there. As the family of wild elephants watches and waits on the other side of the river, local people and forest officials use an earthmover to help the baby get out. Watch when they come running and welcoming the baby, checking whether it is fine. The incredible moment then occurs when the elephant family head turns and salutes the humans, thanking them for saving their little one.. There has been some confusion on whether the elephants were actually acknowledging the rescuers or not. Numerous scientific experiments have shown that elephants are emotional beings. Elephants are known to comfort other elephants in distress and stand beside them touching with trunks and making soft sounds.

And a gif showing sugar glider responding to a fan. This is lovely:


  1. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted February 7, 2020 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    indeed, the sugar glider is fascinating!

  2. JezGrove
    Posted February 7, 2020 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Both very heartwarming – thanks!

  3. merilee
    Posted February 7, 2020 at 3:14 pm | Permalink


  4. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted February 7, 2020 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    But the sugar glider is flying in the wrong direction. He’s got a tailwind. (This is why Pegasus 2193 skidded off the end of the runway in Turkey a couple of days ago).

    In fact, if he’s getting any lift, he is in fact ‘flying’ backwards.



    • RGT
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

      It’s difficult to glide into a headwind.

      • Steven in Tokyo
        Posted February 8, 2020 at 5:53 am | Permalink

        Is that why planes always land into a head wind?

  5. Posted February 7, 2020 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    Awesome. The humans are my favorite animal of the group: salute well earned.

  6. Michael Waterhouse
    Posted February 7, 2020 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think so, you can only glide into a headwind.

    Had the glider been turned around, head first it may have got lift.

    While I don’t know about sugar glider aerodynamics I would be pretty sure that have it head into the breeze would feel right.
    Otherwise, crash.

    • GBJames
      Posted February 8, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      The rule the sugar glider follows is obviously: If wind then glide. The direction of air flow would certainly affect its trajectory, but it wouldn’t fall any more quickly with arms pulled to the body.

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