Locals chased elephant back to the river, says forest official (Guwahati, India)


Times of India

Date Published

They suspect that the animal belonged to Kaziranga as it had been
spotted by locals of Chandrapur, a place on the outskirts of Guwahati.
When the elephant reached the state capital, forest officials tried to
rescue it but couldn’t as the Brahmaputra was in spate.

“We followed the elephant with a dart gun for several stretches along
the Brahmaputra but tranquillizing it when the river was flowing in
spate would have been risky for the animal. The elephant had washed up
on the banks of the river at Chaygaon and in some other places but
people chased it back to the river again,” a forest official said.

Elephant expert and veterinarian KK Sarma, who is part of the
three-member team, said the rescue operation, if approved, would be
one of the most challenging wildlife rescue operations ever

“I heard that the elephant is moving along the riverine islands of the
Brahmaputra. So we have to study the habitat there before deciding if
we can bring cranes or trucks to the islands. We have to find out
whether kunkis (domesticated elephants) are available there. The
health of the elephant has to be taken into consideration before we
tranquillize it,” Sarma explained.