It had wandered into an area on the India-Bangladesh border

Unable to pinpoint the part of the woods from where an elephant stumbled into the no-man's land on the India-Bangladesh border earlier this week, officials of the West Bengal Forest Department have decided to relocate the animal to the Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary in north Bengal.

The elephant was tranquillised on Tuesday and has been taken to the Gorumara forest area where it will be kept for a couple of days. It will then be moved to the Mahananda sanctuary, Apurba Sen, Divisional Forest Officer of Raiganj, told TheHindu over telephone on Thursday.

“We tried to find out where the elephant may have come from, but have not achieved any success. So the decision was taken to relocate the elephant,” he said.

Since the elephant — a seven-and-a-half feet-tall sub-adult male — is a loner, foresters are hopeful that it will be easy for it to adapt to the new environment, Mr. Sen said.

He said he received news that an elephant was found on the border near Balurghat in Dakshin Dinajpur district. Even as foresters worried about conducting rescue operations in the unarmed zone, where flag meetings are held between the Border Security Force and Bangladesh Rifles, the elephant returned to Indian territory.

Since there is barely any forest area nearby, how the elephant entered the zone remains a mystery. It is possible that it crossed over the State border from Bihar or Jharkhand.

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