A female rhino, aged about 30 years, that had been swept ashore a sandbar near Sualkuchi in Assam by flood waters on September 30, was finally tranquilised and shifted to the safety of Assam State Zoo in Guwahati for treatment of its injuries before it is being released in the wild of its original habitat, Pabitora Wildlife Sanctuary.
A 17-member rescue team comprising veterinarians, animal rescue experts and forest officials managed to tranquilise the rhino on Sunday afternoon at Uparhali area in Sualkuchi.
The tarnquilised animal was then put in a wooden crate and loaded onto to a truck for transshipping. An Indian Air Force chopper that was put on standby in Guwahati airport to airlift the rhino, if needed, was not required to use for the rescue operation.
In fact, the rhino made the task a bit easier for the rescue team after it had swam across the Bhrahmaputra river from the sandbar (Rani Chapori) to a safer place called Uparhali.
Assam Forest Minister Rakibul Hussain was present throughout the three hours long rescue operation on Sunday.
Chief Wildlife Warden Suresh Chand informed that there were some injury marks on the rhino and it would be treated in state zoo as per the advices of the veterinarians before being released to the wild.
Through the stranded rhino was spotted at Rani Chapori on September 30 last, the rescue operation was delayed because of inclement weather.