Royal Bengal tiger that swam across Brahmaputra rescued, sent to Guwahati zoo

GUWAHATI: A Royal Bengal Tiger that swam across the Brahmaputra and took shelter in a cave on a small island close to Guwahati was on Tuesday tranquilised after a six-hour operation and shifted to the state zoo, officials said.

“It took almost six hours for our team to tranquilise the animal, an adult male, and take it out of the cave safely. It has been put in a cage and will be shifted to the Guwahati zoo,” said Aswani Kumar, divisional forest officer, Assam state zoo.

“We have no idea about the state of the animal and will know only after it is reaches the zoo. The animal could have moved out of the Orang National Park on the south bank of the river, but we can’t sure as of now,” he added.

The tiger, which was seen swimming from the north bank of Brahmaputra by people on ferries on Tuesday morning, entered a narrow cave on a small island where Umananda Temple, a popular religious site, is located.

As panic spread, local administration ordered all boats and ferries crossing from the Guwahati to North Guwahati to suspend operations and shops and business establishments on the island that cater to pilgrims were shut.

While sightings of leopards and attacks by them targeting small animals and children have taken place in Guwahati, it is rare to find a tiger so close to the biggest city in the north east.