Mam­moth ef­fort to save flood­stranded ele­phant

The Myanmar Times - - World -

HUGE crowds of vil­lagers fol­low­ing a wild ele­phant stranded in Bangladesh for more than a month by floods are ham­per­ing ef­forts to res­cue it, for­est of­fi­cials said.

Se­vere floods in the north­east­ern In­dian state of As­sam sep­a­rated the 4-tonne fe­male ele­phant from its herd as strong cur­rents in the Brahma­pu­tra river washed it across the bor­der to north­ern Bangladesh in late June.

Last week, In­dian wildlife of­fi­cials trav­elled to Bangladesh to join lo­cal for­est rangers and vets to res­cue the animal, which is now strug­gling to stand on its feet af­ter a jour­ney of more than 100 kilo­me­tres.

“It’s now stand­ing in a 5-foot flood water in Ja­malpur dis­trict. It is ex­tremely weak.

“There are more than 10,000 peo­ple watch­ing her from a close dis­tance,” Bangladeshi vet Sayed Hos­sain said on Au­gust 6.

Mr Hos­sain said the crowd was ham­per­ing its ef­forts to reach higher ground as “thou­sands of vil­lagers have been con­stantly fol­low­ing the animal”, even at night.

For­est of­fi­cial Ta­pan Kumar Dey said a team had brought a dart gun, crane and lorry to carry the animal once it reaches dry ground and can be tran­quil­lised – but the oper­a­tion can­not be car­ried out while the ele­phant is in water. –

Photo: AFP

Bangladesh wildlife of­fi­cials look on from a boat as they ob­serve a wild ele­phant in a wa­ter­course at Sar­ishabari in Ja­malpur Dis­trict.

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