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Foresters spot stray jumbo calf

Siliguri, Aug. 14: An elephant calf, which had apparently strayed out of its herd, was spotted by foresters near Rohini in Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary today. The female calf was later sent to Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary.

The foresters had launched a combing operation for the calf after being told by residents of Bamanpokhri yesterday that they had seen the animal roaming around alone near a stream called Raktikhola in their area.

“We searched the sanctuary for the calf till late last night, but could not find it,” a guard said. “We resumed the operation today and found it yelling near Rohini.”

P. T. Bhutia, the conservator of forests (wildlife), north Bengal, said the department had given the calf — named Rohini — water and sent it to the trained elephants’ camp in Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary, located about 120km away.

Asked why the elephant had become isolated from its herd, a guard said it might have failed to cross the Raktikhola along with the other elephants as the water level had increased because of heavy rain. “There are also chances that Rohini was sick and it was abandoned by the other members of the herd.”

The foresters said there were no injuries on the calf’s body, but whether it was ill or not could be confirmed only after a medical examination.

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