A Tedious Journey Thru’ River (Bangladesh)


The Daily Star

Date Published

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An Indian wild elephant, which entered Bangladesh floating with the currents of the Brahmaputra River 18 days ago, is frantically moving from one place to another while awaiting her rescue.

The elephant has already become quite feeble spending days without proper food. She is living on grass and bark in char areas she is passing.

She is chased away whenever she approaches char areas having people.

The elephant entered Bangladesh through Kurigram’s Chilmari upazila on June 27 and until yesterday afternoon, she travelled to Sariakandi in Bogra through the Jamuna river, crossing several Brahmaputra chars of Jamalpur, said forest officials.

The wildlife officers from both Bangladesh and India have been contacting each other but there has apparently been no adequate step for the rescue the elephant.

“Our officials from the forest department have been keeping an eye on the elephant since it entered Bangladesh. We have already written to the wildlife officials in India in this regard,” said Asit Ranjan Paul, conservator of forest, wildlife, department of forest.

The wild elephant, that got separated from her herd in Assam and came to Bangladesh floating with the river currents, was spotted in a char area under Chikajani union of Dewanganj in Jamalpur on July 11.

She was there until Thursday, said Gobinda Roy, divisional forest officer (DFO), Mymensingh.

Entering Jamalpur through Kholabarichar area under Chikajani union, the elephant moved to one char to another char and took shelter in Tinergharchar area under Chukaibari union of the upazilaon Wednesday and stayed there till Thursday, said Saiful Islam, UNO of Dewanganj upazila.

The villagers drove it away from Hagra, a char having inhabitants, as the elephant damaged three houses and destroyed crops on 25 to 30 bighas of land, said Salim Khan, chairman of Chukaibari union parishad.

A team of Mymensingh forest division visited the spot and tried to tranquillise and capture the animal but failed to do so for “the sake of the elephant’s safety”, said Gobinda Roy, DFO, Mymensingh.

Later, the animal was seen at uninhabited Harirampurchar area under Sariakandi upazila of Bogra on Thursday afternoon. She was there until yesterday evening, said Aynal Haque, forest ranger of Bogra forest division.

A three-member expert team from Assam Forest Department is expected to reach the spot “soon” to rescue the animal, added the DFO.