Adorable Baby Elephant Seal Rescued After Falling into Manhole

A group of concerned citizens and first responders worked quickly to miraculously save an adorable four-flippered baby that trapped itself in a manhole.

An elephant seal pup reportedly fell down into a storm drainage system in Washington on Wednesday evening. Fortunately, the adorable creature was rescued by emergency personnel and some compassionate animal lovers.

College student Alex Hunter told Komo News that the rescue operation started while he and his parents were having dinner. His grandfather Dave Anderson called Hunter in a hurry, saying that the poor seal was stuck and he needed help — as well as a "big net."

"My grandpa was a vet for many years and is known as a great problem solver around the island, so that's why he was called," Hunter told the outlet. "His buddy had called him and needed him down at Mutiny Bay because there was a baby elephant seal stuck in a manhole."

Hunter, Anderson and several other worried bystanders did everything they could to ease the animal out from the manhole before the South Whidbey Fire/EMS team and Langley police officials arrived. Hunter also claimed a practicing marine biologist veterinarian was on standby on the phone.

"The lock was cut and the grates opened, and a ladder lowered in, in hopes that he could rest against that while it was determined how best to get him out," Deputy Chief Terry Neh told KCPQ.

"South Whidbey Fire was able to bring a cargo net to the scene, which was lowered with ropes and maneuvered underneath [the seal]."

Elephant Seal Saved
An elephant seal pup was saved by good samaritans who found the baby in a storm drain. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Hunter added in a report to Komo News that the team "tried our best to distract the seal while we got the net under him" to not frighten him further.

After "about three attempts of trying to hoist him up," Hunter and the fire department were successfully able to free him.

The Fire/EMS team informed KCPQ that the curious seal, who has since been named Elwood, likely got stuck in the drainage system because the pipe connects to the bay he calls home. Although it was not immediately clear how long Elwood was stuck, a spokesperson estimated he had been in there "for hours."

Once Elwood was successfully freed from the drain, responders returned him to the beach. Because the pipes connect to the Mutiny Bay with about four feet of water that Elwood had to tread until his rescue, the South Whidbey Fire/EMS team gave the exhausted pup a lift home.

"It was a very stressful situation at first," Hunter told Komo News. "But once I saw how many people came out to help the little guy, I knew he was going to be alright."

Elwood isn't the only lucky pup rescued from a near drowning. Early last week, a dog was caught on tape rescuing a puppy struggling to stay afloat in a swimming pool.