Dhaka, Delhi drive to salvage stranded elephant

Dhaka, Delhi drive to salvage stranded elephant


Bangladesh and India today launched a massive campaign to salvage a wild elephant stranded in marshy lands for the past five weeks after gushing flood waters washed it to Bangladesh from upstream Indian Territory in Assam, officials said.“A three member Indian expert team led by a retired chief conservator of forest of theirs reached the scene at Sharishabari (of northern Jamalpur) to launch the rescue drive jointly with our forest officials and experts,” chief conservator of forest Mohammad Yunus Ali told BSS.He added that the joint team with veterinary surgeons as members was equipped with tranquilizers and other equipment including medicines to rescue the elephant which was languishing in marshy lands along the rivers.

“India will to take it back if possible, otherwise we will keep the elephant,” Bangladesh’s forest chief said, pointing out that in past two nearly identical cases in 2004 and 2013, the initiative to return an elephant succeeded while another died on its way back.Ali said India kept in touch with Bangladesh’s forest department since the precious animal crossed the common Brahmaputra River on June 27.A forest official who was stationed at the scene to monitor the elephant’s behavior and activities said the wild animal remained calm though it showed some signs of abnormal behavior as it was forced to live in swamps for weeks despite being habituated in hilly forest environment.“The elephant looks tired and weak as it is finding limited items of food like rice plants and sugarcane plants or some banana trees supplied by us. Yet it remained non-violent,” said Ashok Mollik as he was reached in Dhaka by phone.Mollik said the elephant could not get the scope to take rest on a dry piece of land as higher lands in the neighbourhood were occupied by people who were forced to take makeshift refuge there leaving their homes inundated by deluge.The elephant, weighing around four tonnes, crossed the common Brahmaputra River on June 27 and soon grabbed media attention as it was followed by hundreds of people in boats every day requiring police deployment to keep it undisturbed.It was roaming along the river shoals and swamps in three northern districts.


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