A rampaging elephant destroyed a house in an Indian village on Monday, only to return to save a 10-month-old baby who was crying in the wreckage.
Dipak Mahato and his wife Lalita say they were eating dinner around 8 p.m. in West Bengal's Purulia district when they suddenly heard a “cracking sound” in their bedroom.
They were stunned to find that an elephant was attacking their house.
"We ran over and were shocked to see the wall in pieces and a tusker standing over our baby,” Dipak Mahato told the Times of India. “She was crying and there were huge chunks of the wall lying all around and on the cot."
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What happened next was incredible.
"The tusker started moving away, but when our child started crying again, it returned and used its trunk to remove the debris," he said.
The animal gently removed the pieces of brick and stone that had fallen on the baby.
“I can't believe that the tusker saved my daughter after breaking down the door and smashing a wall,” said Lalita Mahato.
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The baby was treated at a local hospital for minor injuries and is expected to make a full recovery.
The same elephant has damaged at least 17 homes in Mathadi, Kasidih and Ghoshra villages, according to Jhalda ranger Samir Bose.
Divisional forest officer Om Prokash told the Times that the animals don’t want to hurt humans.
“They only come down here in search of food," Prokash said.