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Straying jumbo released inside Amchang forest
Staff Reporter

The elephant being looked after at the Assam State Zoo before being released inside the Amchang Reserve Forest, in Guwahati on Wednesday. – Photo: Rituraj Borthakur
 GUWAHATI, May 1 - The wild elephant that strayed into the heart of the city and detoured lanes and bylanes beside the GS Road since last evening was fully tranquilised in the early morning hours and released deep inside the Amchang Wildlife Sanctuary.

Known as ‘Maharaj’ among the residents of Panjabari, an area which it frequently visits, the elephant was safe and out of danger, officials said.

Rains, darkness and the location prevented forest officials from evacuating it to Amchang at midnight after it was brought under control with two doses of sedatives inside a private compound at Sreenagar. Electricity supply was also cut to ensure safety of both the animal and the rescue team.

“We had to revive the animal and wait till it came to its senses. We decided to let it move on its own as it was under a lot of stress,” Guwahati’s honorary wildlife warden Kaushik Baruah, who was a part of the rescue team, said.

In the wee hours, the elephant started moving towards GS Road again and later entered a lane that connects RG Baruah Road. On that lane, the elephant entered a compound and feed on some sugarcane and other fruits grown there, before taking some rest.

“Around 4 O’clock it started moving towards the Zoo. Our team steered it into the Zoo compound. It then forced opened the locked gate and entered the facility,” Baruah added.

Zoo veterinarian Dr Arindam Kishore, who had come to his residence to take a break, immediately rushed out and made the third attempt to tranquilise it.

“Eventually, we were able to secure it around 6.30 am. Necessary medicines, like painkillers and antibiotics were administered to it. It had a wound and swelling on its leg, apparently inflicted by the spiked barrier at the Narengi cantonment. We treated that as well,” Dr Kishore said.

Later, it was evacuated in a truck and released inside the Amchang Wildlife Sanctuary around 9.30 am.

Forest officials say the elephant is the same one which often comes to the Panjabari and Botahguli areas.

“It has lost its fear of humans and has become a part of the system. It has got used to staying with humans, that’s why it was so calm and did not harm anyone,” officials added.

Forest Minister Parimal Suklabaidya has commended the efforts of the rescue team, particularly that of the veterinarians, Zoo DFO Tejas Mariswamy and Guwahati wildlife warden Kaushik Baruah.

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