Bangladesh, India mount rescue for flood-hit elephant

2016-08-04 12:09
Bangladesh wildlife officials look on from a boat as they observe a wild elephant in a watercourse at Sarishabari in Jamalpur District 150 km north of Dhaka. (AFP)

Bangladesh wildlife officials look on from a boat as they observe a wild elephant in a watercourse at Sarishabari in Jamalpur District 150 km north of Dhaka. (AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Dhaka - Bangladesh and India are mounting a major rescue effort for a wild elephant struggling to survive after it was separated from its herd by floods and then washed across the border.

On Thursday three Indian forest officials will travel to a flood-hit area in northern Bangladesh to investigate how they can help the stranded animal, which was separated from its herd in northeast India more than a month ago.

A vet dispatched to the scene by Bangladesh authorities said the elephant, a female that weighs an estimated four tons, was "weak and tired" after its solo odyssey across the Brahmaputra river that separates the two countries.

"For the last month it has been separated from its herd and stranded mostly in flood water," Sayed Hossain told AFP.

"It crossed the mighty Brahmaputra and has been living mostly on paddy (rice) crop, sugar cane and a limited amount of banana plants."

Forestry official Shahab Uddin said thousands of villagers in boats have been following the elephant, which has so far crossed around 100 kilometres of flooded terrain in northern Bangladesh.

Bangladeshi authorities have dispatched a team of forest rangers, police inspectors and vets to track the wild animal, but the floods were hampering rescue efforts.

"Our effort to rescue the animal has been hampered by ongoing floods as there is no way we can tranquillise it in water as it might then float downstream. The elephant must be driven to higher ground in a bid to rescue it," Uddin said.

"After seeing her latest condition, both teams will decide how we can rescue her," he added.

Uddin said the hundreds of villagers who were flocking to see the elephant were also likely hampering her ability to seek higher ground unaffected by the floods.

The wild elephants of India and Bangladesh have dwindled in number in recent decades as their habitat is destroyed.

The rescue bid comes days after Indian wildlife officers appealed for help in caring for eight rhino calves pulled from the floodwaters in the north-eastern state of Assam.

Scores of people die every year from flooding and landslides during the monsoon rains in India and neighbouring Nepal and Bangladesh.

So far this year 96 people have died in the worst-hit Indian states of Assam and Bihar.

Read more on:    india  |  bangladesh  |  elephant

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.