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Helenbala returns home

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  • Published 21.05.12

Agartala, May 20: Helenbala Sundari, the female elephant that had stormed into Tripura by breaking through the barbed wire fencing through Kamalpur subdivision on April 13, returned home this morning across Akhaura checkpost, west of Agartala.

Helenbala was received at the checkpost on the Bangladesh side by its owner Hazi Abdul Samad and his companions from the Red Star Circus, Bangladesh.

Before trudging into the Bangladeshi territory, Helenbala was offered bananas, but it shed tears, looking at the forest officials of Tripura who had taken him there.

On April 13 night, Helenbala, an elephant owned by Red Star Circus, ran away from the outskirts of Brahmanbari where the circus had been organising shows. It strayed into areas opposite Kamalpur subdivision before breaking through the barbed wire early on April 14.

Alerted by the presence of the elephant, officials of the forest department and police tried to chase the elephant back to Bangladesh. However, Helenbala avoided all traps and baits and slowly entered into the nearby Atharomura ranges, feeding on trees and plants.

In the following days, Helenbala traversed a long way before reaching Bisramganj near Sipahijala wildlife sanctuary, defying the search launched for him by the police, forest and BSF officials.

Samad got in touch with the India through the Bangla-desh Border Guard and BSF and was assured that once the elephant was caught, it would be returned immediately.

“Actually we had to use tranquillisers to control the elephant near Sipahijala and then bring it to Akhaura this morning,” Sudip Dasgutpa, wildlife warden of Sipahijala sanctuary, said.

He added that Helenbala had shed tears when offered bananas, before slowly crossing the border.

“It immediately crossed the border and recognised its comapnions and child, and while caressing the child, Helenbala wept again before slowly moving out of our sight,” Dasgupta said, adding that the owner Samad, was extremely happy.