One of three rhinos swept away to India by flood brought back

Published On: August 19, 2017 08:14 AM NPT By: Ramesh Kumar Paudel

CHITWAN, August 19: One of the three rhinoceroses washed away by floods to the Indian side of the border was rescued by Chitwan National Park (CNP) officials on Friday morning.

After being washed away last Friday, the rhino belonging to CNP was successfully brought back to Chitwan after officials went to Bagaha, India on Tuesday to retrieve the rhino.

Abhinaya Pathak, head officer of the Eastern Sector Office at CNP, said that the rhino was successfully placed in the northern side of the national park after being brought back at 5:30 am to Sauraha from Bagaha, 42 kilometers south of Nawalparasi.

A 40-member team led by Assistant Conservation Officer Nurendra Aryal had gone to rescue the three years old female rhino as it was invading human settlements after being swept away by the massive flooding in the Rapti and Narayani rivers.

Conservation officer Aryal had said that it was not possible to bring back the rhino from Bagaha using tranquilizers as they had to chase it through forests to CNP. However, the rhino was sedated using a tranquilizer and kept safely in a temporary den before being transported on a truck to Sauraha. 

Meanwhile, two other rhinos are still stuck in the Indian side of the border. One rhino has been found in the forest areas of Balmiki Ashram which is part of India's Balmiki Tiger Reserve at Balmiki Nagar, Bhaisalot. Officials said on Thursday that it would be hard for them to bring the rhino back as it is in a waterlogged area.

The third rhino swept away has been seen in the forests of Balmiki Nagar. Besides them, two other rhinos were flown always by the floods to Keuleni and Narsahi near Triveni within Nepal. 

Another rhino was found dead in Narsahi after it was also swept away in the floods while another one was found injured in Icharni near Sauraha. Aryal said that a team of medical personnel had been deployed to treat the animal. 

Other animals have also been affected by the flooding last Friday. Seven antelopes have been found dead so far, according to Aryal. The national park administration has appealed to all the locals to report to the national park, forest office or the police if they find any endangered animals dead or injured near them.

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