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Odishatv Bureau

Keonjhar: A herd of eight elephants has been stranded since Sunday night in river Baitarani here at Erendei village near Patana in the district after water level increased suddenly due to incessant rain for last two days.

The forest department has launched operation to rescue the animals after the local residents informed the officials. The forest officials with the help villagers have provided the animals with food like paddy, bamboo and coconuts.

According to sources the elephants are from Similipal area. They were trapped in the river while attempting to rescue a calf which was swept away by the river current yesterday.

The water level suddenly went up due to intermittent rains triggered by low pressure in the upper catchment area of the river for last 24 hours.

A local resident said they have given them food swimming across the river as the animals are hungry since last night.

On the other hand, forest officials are on toes to rescue them. “Our men are prepared to rescue the jumbos. If rain continues, we may face difficulties”, an official said.

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