A wild Indian Elephant today died, despite of hard efforts made byvillagers and forest officials. Elephant swept 1,700 km away to Bangladesh by flood waters.
A wild Indian elephant, which had beentrapped in swamps after being swept away more than 1,700 kminto Bangladesh by raging flood waters, died today despitevaliant efforts by villagers and forest officials to save him. 'Bangabahadur', meaning Hero of Bengal, died around 7 amat Koyra village in northern Jamalpur district, about 200 kmfrom capital Dhaka.
"We had mobilised huge manpower, provided it decent foodand treatment but could not save it," a forest departmentofficial familiar with the efforts to rescue him told PTI. Bangabahadur weighed four tonnes. A post-mortem has been orderer, the BBC reported.The elephant had a heart attack with stress, dehydrationand electrolyte imbalance being factors, a local newspaperquoted a veterinary doctor as saying.
It was separated from its herd on June 27 in Assam wheremonsoon floods have made life difficult - and got washed awayin the streams of mighty Brahmaputra to downstream Bangladesh.
In Bangladesh, after it was thought to have travelled fornearly 1,700 kilometres, Bangabahadur was rescued on August 11by a forest team following six weeks of frantic efforts. On its way from India, it was forced to stay in marshes asthe highlands were occupied by flood-hit people who wereunwilling to let the frightened animal share their shelters.
The elephant entered Bangladesh through Roumari frontiersof northwestern Kurigram and then travelled miles to Jamalpur. It appeared agitated after being tranquilised more thanonce and moved indiscriminately for nearly an hour before itfell into a ditch unconscious during rescue efforts.
Forest officials and villagers dragged him off the ditch.It died as a process was underway to shift it to theBangabandhu Safari Park from the remote village. Officials hadplanned to bring in two trained elephants to support thetransportation.
Witnesses and people in the neighbourhood suspected thatexcessive tranquillising might have partly led to its death. They alleged Bangabahadur was provided less than what itdeserved to eat as officials feared with regained strength, itcould break the shackles and pose threat to the neighbourhood.
Without proper food it gradually lost its strength.Earlier, an expert team from India led by a retired chiefforest conservator on July 4 joined the Bangladeshi team inrescuing the elephant but left the scene three days later.