The Centre has cleared a proposal to send a rescue team to Bangladesh to bring back an elephant stranded in the neighbouring country after being washed away by the strong currents of the Brahmaputra from Assam.
Officials of the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change said on Tuesday that they had received the political clearance for the visit by an expert team to Bangladesh. The Chief Wildlife Warden of Assam is trying to get visa for members of the team.
Project Elephant director R K Srivastava told PTI from Delhi that it was decided to send the rescue team to the neighbouring country on August three for rescuing the jumbo but it would depend on factors like the weather condition.
“The Project Elephant division of the ministry is constantly in touch with the Bangladesh forest department, chief wildlife wardens of Assam and Meghalaya and other relevant agencies to rescue the stranded elephant and bring it back to India,” he said.
Assam has constituted a team of five experts including Rithesh Bhattacharjee, retired conservator of forests of Assam, elephant expert Kaushik Baruah, DFO (Dhubri division) A S Talukder, etc.
“The Bangladesh forest department is constantly tracking the movement of the stranded elephant,” the official said. On June 27 it was reported that a wild female elephant was separated from her herd in Assam and floated along with the currents of the Brahmaputra river into the neighbouring Bangladesh.
In search of food, the pachyderm is now reportedly in conflict with villagers living in those regions. “The elephant has reportedly become feeble due to lack of food so her rescue at the earliest is necessary to prevent further distress to her as well as the locals living in the region,” an animal rights NGO Humane Society International had said in a statement recently.