A baby elephant ended up wedged in a street manhole on Sunday after falling into a drainage ditch in eastern Thailand.

The young elephant looked on pleadingly with its front legs positioned at the edge of the roughly three-foot wide square hole while rescuers worked for three hours to free it.

Eventually a bulldozer was employed to widen the hole and allow the elephant to escape.

The young pachyderm emerged unharmed.

The elephant had fallen into the hole after its trainer had taken it out to work on the street in Rayong province.

Elephants are a common sight in many Thai towns and cities either performing heavy manual work or being used as a prop by beggars and buskers to solicit money from passers-by.

Baby elephants are especially favored and usually perform a repertoire of tricks.

Concerns over cruelty have led to the banning of elephant displays in many areas of Thailand.

However this has done little to curb the practice with many elephant owners and trainers, known as mahouts, working their animals for long hours every day.

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