Viral Video Shows Royal Bengal Tiger Swimming Across River Brahmaputra
A royal Bengal tiger travelled 120 kilometres across the Brahmaputra to a small island before being tranquillized and relocated to the state zoo after a 10-hour journey.
The tiger is shown speed-swimming in the Brahmaputra in a popular video before slipping into a small cave on Peacock Island, which is well-known for housing the old Umananda temple.
On Tuesday morning, a group of temple employees were astounded to see the tiger swimming toward the world’s smallest inhabited island. The tiger was observed swimming toward a small cave on the island that receives a large number of visitors each day.
A 10-minute boat ride over the Brahmaputra from Guwahati city separates the Oranga National Park, where the tiger is said to have wandered, from the island. The animal may have been carried off while sipping water by the Brahmaputra’s powerful currents.
A unit of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), which has a base nearby, was alerted, along with the local police, amid widespread panic on the island. Officials from the forest department and a rescue squad, which included veterinarians, sped to the scene on boats.
Due to the tiger’s distance from the riverside, the crews had a tough time tranquillizing it. An officer was quoted by news agency PTI as saying, “The tiger got wedged between two massive rocks and the rescue crew had to carry out the operation very gently.” It was a difficult task because the tiger could have retreated into the river and drowned if everything went wrong. If it wasn’t completely tranquillized, it might attack the rescue squad.
“After the team was sure that the tiger has been fully tranquilised, they proceeded to rescue and capture it and put the animal into a cage. This took considerable time as the space between the rocks was very narrow,” the official said.
As forest officials ringed the river island and subdued the huge cat, pilgrims taking ferry rides to the Umananda Temple were evacuated. As authorities attempted to encircle the tiger, priests were also relocated for their own protection, and stores and other facilities that cater to temple visitors were briefly closed.
Gadadhar Singha, the Ahom King, constructed the Umananda Temple in the final decade of the 17th century.
Picture Courtesy: Google/images are subject to copyright