STATE

Forest teams ready for rescue operation after elephant trapped in swollen Mahanadi river

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: Forest officials in Odisha have mounted a rescue operation near Munduli bridge in Cuttack where an elephant has remained stuck in the Mahanadi river for nearly four hours due to high velocity of the water since Friday morning.

Chandaka DFO Md Jameel said the incident happened when a herd of seven elephants was crossing the swollen river to reach Chandaka from Athagarh forest area. Munduli bridge is about 10 kilometres from Cuttack city.

“While six managed to cross, one sub-adult elephant was trapped in the strong current of the river,” he said.

On being informed by locals about the incident, the Athagarh forest team and local fire services personnel rushed to the spot. Later, a team from Chandaka joined them.

“Our teams are monitoring the situation and ready for the rescue operation if required. However, we are hopeful that the sub-adult elephant will manage to cross the river on its own as elephants are good swimmers,” he said.

A team of firefighters which was deployed into the water to help the jumbo move from the point where it was stuck ran into trouble after their boat overturned. The team members were thrown into the river before being lifted out of the water.

In a similar incident this time around last year, a herd of 18 to 20 elephants had also remained stranded for sometimes in the floodplains of Mahanadi river at Daspur ghata in Cuttack due to excess water. They, however, crossed the river after the water level receded.

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