An elephant that had crossed the border into Tripura last month,destroying crops and triggering panic,was yesterday handed back to Bangladesh. The Border Guards of Bangladesh (BGB) received the elephant from the BSF.
Called Helenbala Sundari,the elephant belonged to a Bangladeshi circus and had run away while performing in Akhaura,a Bangladesh town adjacent to Agartala. On the night of April 15,it crossed over into India and spent the next 34 days taking officials on a wild goose chase.
After moving about in Agartala for the first two to three days,it headed southwards to villages and forests. While the elephant destroyed crops,it did not harm anybody. Forest personnel kept following her until she was captured with the help of a tranquiliser inside the Sepahijala wildlife sanctuary on April 27, Sanatan Talukdar,Tripura Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF),said.
Our Bangladesh counterparts in Akhaura asked us to help locate the animal and hand it back, said a senior BSF official.
Reports in the Bangladesh media said the BGB had already handed over the elephant to the owner of New Star Circus at Akhaura. Hundreds of people reportedly gathered to welcome the elephant home.