Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Rescue operations are underway by the fire services personnel to save a tusker that has got stuck near Mundali barrage in Cuttack district.

According to reports, the tusker got stranded near the bridge while trying to cross Mahanadi. The wild animal was unable to move due to strong current in the river.

Locals spotted the pachyderm struck in the river and informed the fire brigade personnel.

A 10-member expert team along with Chandaka DFO have reached Mundali for ‘Operation Gaja’ for rescue of the tusker stuck in Mahanadi river.

“A herd of 17 elephants crossed the river near Mundali. All other elephants were able to cross the river except this one. The level of water is very high near the spot where the elephant has got stuck. We are trying our best to rescue the pachyderm,” said Athagarh Ranger, Ayesha Nisha.

According to sources, two other elephants have been swept away in the heavy current of the river while trying to save the stranded animal.

A herd of eight other elephants also got swept away and stuck at Nuasasana while trying to cross the river. Forest officials have reached the spot and started rescue operations.

(Edited by Pradeep Singh)