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Elephant mom dies in calf rescue (India)

dimanche 10 janvier 2010

Siliguri, Jan. 10 : A mother elephant drowned in a 15ft-deep reservoir today after helping its calf stay afloat until rescue arrived.

Forest officials at Bengdubi, about 20km from Siliguri town, said the adult must have plunged into the water in an attempt to save the calf after it had strayed from the herd.

The army has created the reservoir to fight accidental fires in the cantonment area, which has an ammunition dump. Army personnel spotted the elephants at daybreak and managed to pull up the baby using ropes but it was impossible to try the same method on the adult. It went down into the water. At 11am, a crane pulled up the body.

“The reservoir is located deep inside the forest where the movement of elephant herds is frequent. The army rescued the calf early this morning and informed us. But as the female elephant was a full-grown one, it could not be fished out of the tank with ropes. It died after ingesting too much water,” said divisional forest officer Sumita Ghatak.

After the calf had been rescued, the army personnel, and later the forest officials, got busy with the mother and no one noticed when the younger animal got lost in the forest again.

Around 6pm, foresters found it roaming alone a few kilometres away. It has been taken to the Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary. “The calf is about six months old,” Sumita said.

The Telegraph

January 10, 2010

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