India

India-Bangladesh bid to rescue elephant stranded by flood

Bangladesh wildlife officials look on from a boat as they observe a wild elephant in a watercourse at Sarishabari in Jamalpur District some 150kms north of Dhaka Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Officials from both nations are tracking the animal's movements

A team of Indian officials is visiting Bangladesh to bring back a wild elephant who has been separated from its herd.

The elephant was washed away a month ago in the strong currents of the Brahmaputra river from the northeastern Indian state of Assam to Bangladesh.

An Indian wildlife officer told the BBC that officials from both nations were working together to rescue the animal.

The number of elephants has dwindled in both countries in recent years.

The chief wildlife officer of Assam, Bikash Brahma, said that a team of officials was trying to find ways to bring the stranded animal back.

"Our team is working with Bangladeshi wildlife officials to help the animal. She is weak and under stress and has travelled more than 100kms (62 miles) in flooded parts of Bangladesh," he said.

Officials were considering "tranquilising her and then bringing her back through the land route", he added.

Reports said the animal was struggling to move to higher grounds due to insistent rains.

Floods force thousand of animals to move to higher grounds every year in the border areas between the two countries.

Image caption Floods force thousand of animals to move to higher grounds every year in the border areas between the two countries

The shrinking natural habitat of wildlife animals has made it increasingly difficult for them to move to safer areas during monsoon floods.

Wildlife officials last week rescued three baby rhinos from the Kaziranga national park in flood-ravaged Assam.

Many wildlife elephants were photographed swimming away from a national park in the state last month.

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