Airlift plan dropped, stranded rhino rescued on truck

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SummaryPlans for the country’s first airlift of a rhinoceros washed away in flood after it strayed from a sanctuary were dropped at the last moment on Sunday. The rhino was instead put on a special truck to ferry it to a zoo

Plans for the country’s first airlift of a rhinoceros washed away in flood after it strayed from a sanctuary were dropped at the last moment on Sunday. The rhino was instead put on a special truck to ferry it to a zoo.

Trained elephants were used to guide the stranded full grown one-horned rhino to a safe area before wildlife personnel tranquilised the two-tonne animal and put on the truck with stocks of fodder to transport it to Guwahati State Zoo by road.

District Deputy Commissioner S K Roy said plans were dropped this evening to airlift the rhino that strayed from Pabitora sanctuary on September 29. The Indian Air Force(IAF) had already carried out mock drills for airlifting the animal by a chopper.

Officials said it was later thought it would be safer to bring the animal by road as the spot from where it was being transported is only around 45 km from Guwahati.

Inclement weather had prevented the translocation for the past few days. The animal was stranded in the sandbars of Brahamputra river at Sualkuchi in Kamrup (Rural) district on September 29.

It was spotted on Sunday 20 km away in Uporhali Baghmari beel (waterbody) at Palasbari by locals who reported it to the authorities, district Deputy Commissioner S K Roy said.

Orissa elephants electrocuted

BERHAMPUR: In a suspected case of poaching, at least four elephants were found electrocuted in Orissa’s Ganjam district, forest department sources said on Sunday. The animals died after coming in contact with electric wires apparently laid by poachers. The carcasses of a 35-year-old female elephant and its two-month-old male calf were recovered from Kanakhai jungle under Khallikote forest range in the morning. PTI

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