Elephants help rescue trapped tourists in Nepal floods

“We are mobilising all the resources we have to ensure that everyone is safe”

Matt Nixon
Wednesday 16 August 2017 13:36
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Elephants help Nepal tourists escape flooding

Elephants have been deployed to help rescue trapped tourists from devastating floods in a popular resort in southern Nepal.

The tourists were stranded in the Chitwan district, a well-known destination for rhino-watching and elephant rides, after a period of torrential rain caused flooding and landslides. The Red Cross estimate that 100,000 people have been affected by the floods, with electricity and communication obstructed in the area.

At least 49 people across the country have died during this year’s monsoon season, which lasts from June to September across the south of Asia.

Footage of the rescue effort shows locals chest deep in water guiding elephants to hotels where tourists have been stranded. As many as four people at a time ride atop the mammals, and are taken to safety.

The chief district officer of the Chitwan district, Narayan Prasad Bhatta, has said “We are mobilising all the resources we have to ensure that everyone is safe.”

Poor weather has also affected parts of India, which neighbours Nepal. In total, 218 people have died across Bangladesh, northern India, and southern Nepal, while millions of others have been displaced.

The Prime Minister of Nepal, Sher Bahudur Deuba, has since taken to Twitter to express his condolences. He has stated that he is “devastated by the loss of lives and property caused by floods and landslides,” and has urged people “to stay calm and help each other in whatever way they can”.

Those saved by the elephants were taken to the nearest open roads and airports to return to safety.

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