Assam forest department has constituted a three-member team to bring back a wild elephant which was washed away by the Brahmaputra last month and reached a sandbar in Bangladesh’s Kurigram district. Kurigram is the nearest district in Bangladesh from Dhubri in Assam.
District forest officials in Bangladesh, who are in touch with their Assam counterparts, have also informed that the elephant became weak and significantly stressed as locals drove the jumbo away from their cropland on the sandbars.
‘Bangladesh has already informed us about the presence of our elephant in that country. We are waiting for the permission from the State government for the expert team to travel to Bangladesh and bring the elephant back,’ said Bikash Brahma principal chief conservator of forest (wildlife) Assam.
Elephant expert and veterinarian, K K Sarma, who is also part of the three-member expert team, said that it would be one of the most challenging wildlife rescue operations, ‘I heard that the elephant is moving along the riverine islands of Brahmaputra. So, we have to study the habitat there and see whether it is possible to take cranes or trucks to those islands. Also, we have to find out whether kunkis are available there. The health of the elephant also has to be taken into consideration before we tranquilize the jumbo.’
The elephant is believed to have been washed away by Brahmaputra from Kaziranga National Park on mid-June. The jumbo was spotted by locals at Chandrapur area on the outskirt of Guwahati. When the elephant reached Guwahati, forest officials tried to rescue the animal, but couldn’t succeed as the Brahmaputra was in spate then.