A major disaster was averted at Kaziranga National Park on Sunday morning after a one-horned rhinoceros attacked Phoolan Devi, a forest department elephant which was carrying tourists. The incident took place at the Kohora range of the park. The Forest Department had arranged elephant safari for the tourists and Phoolan Devi was one of the seven pachyderms entrusted with the job of carrying the tourists.
Safari turned into nightmare
However, this is one safari which neither the tourists nor the elephants would forget easily. Like bolt from the blue, a male adult rhino charged towards Phoolan Devi and attacked it and its calf. Both the mother-daughter duo sustained injuries. Fortunately, none of the tourists fell off the back of the elephant as that might have led to a bigger mishap. Other elephants soon charged at the rhino and it slowly went away.
A forest guard, who is working in Kaziranga since the last two decades said that this is the first he has experienced an incident of this kind. ‘There are instances of rhinos attacking and even killing forest guards inside the forest. But this is the first time that it attacked an elephant carrying tourists. The elephant is obviously frightened. Our department vet has started his treatment and has suggested rest for at least six days.’