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Wild Indian Bison falls into well, rescued safely

Story by Sumesh Rajan
Mumbai: February 26, 2018

A three-year-old male Gaur (Indian Bison - Bos gaurus), which had accidentally fallen on February 22 into an open well at Penchikalpet village of Atmakur mandal in Warangal district of the southern Indian state of Telangana, was safely rescued by the forest department staff after about a three-hour struggle.

Two Gaurs had strayed out from the Laknavaram forest into the nearby farmland and was sighted by local villagers on February 21 who then alerted the forest department officials about their presence.

Meanwhile, one of the gaur’s attacked and injured a farmer at Manugonda village of Geesugonda mandal in the district on the same day. Gurrapu Laxminarsu (45) was working on his farmland in when he was attacked by the gaur. Farmers from nearby fields, who noticed the attack, managed to drive away the gaurs and took Laxminarsu to a nearby hospital where he is undergoing treatment. Though he received critical injuries, his condition is said to be out of danger.

After the forest department officials were alerted about the incident, they formed two teams to trace the wild animals. During the course of their search on February 22, they came to know that one of the gaurs attacked a toddy tapper at Penchikalpet village and he had sustained a hand fracture. And, the gaur had accidentally fallen into an open well.

Following this, District Forest Officer K Purushotam alerted higher-ups and set up a rescue team under the guidance of Dr. Hakeem of the Nehru Zoological Park and Dr. Praveen, Kakatiya Zoo Park, and rushed to the site.

The gaur was tranquilised, after which half a dozen forest department staff were lowered into the well to strap up the animal to be lifted out of the well using a crane on February 23 morning. The whole rescue operation took more than three hours.

The gaur which had suffered a severe injury to its lower jaw due to the fall was administered first-aid before being shifted.

“We have shifted the gaur to Nehru Zoological Park in Hyderabad for further treatment. After recuperation, the animal may be brought to Kakatiya Zoo in Warangal or be released in the forest,” informed DFO Purushotam.

“This injured gaur weighs around 600 kg,” the DFO added.

The other gaur is yet to be traced.

“Generally these wild animals stray out of the forest due to fights amongst the males for leadership and also during mating chases,” he added.

The Gaur has been classified vulnerable with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (UNCN) red-listing the animal. It is also a protected species under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. While an adult male is dark black and female is in brown in colour, the gaur generally weighs about 1 tonne to 1.5 tonnes. 


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