Multiple videos of a full grown Royal Bengal tiger swimming in the middle of River Brahmaputra in Guwahati are making rounds of the internet. This has sent panic waves amongst people. The tiger reportedly swam across the river and took shelter in a cave on a Umananda river island (Peacock island). The tiger was tranquilised after an operation spanning over 6 hours. It was then shifted to the state zoo, officials said.
The big cat was first spotted in the river near the Raj Bhawan by morning walkers and boatmen. It was being pushed by the current towards the river island where the Umananda temple is located atop a hillock.
Watch the video of the tiger swimming in the river in Assam here:
A full grown Royal Bengal tiger is found swimming in middle of Brahmaputra River in Guwahati. Tiger is now taking shelter in a rock gap in Umananda Temple in middle of the river. To my surprise, if he came swimming from Kaziranga in Assam, then he has crossed 160 km alone!! 🐯 🐅 pic.twitter.com/6qfzlFFrnJ
— Nandan Pratim Sharma Bordoloi (@NANDANPRATIM) December 20, 2022
Local media reports say that the tiger had been prowling close to the grounds of the Umananda temple. This had frightened the residents of North Guwahati, ferry passengers, and devotees of the temple.
The Peacock island is considered to be the smallest inhabited river island in the world. It is in the middle of Brahmaputra river and just opposite the Kamrup deputy commissioner’s office.
It was considerably hard for the forest officials to tranquilise the beast as it was at a considerable distance from the river bank. A forest official noted that the tiger was stuck between two large rocks and the rescue team had to carry out the operation very cautiously. There was a danger of it falling back into the river. There also was the fear of it not getting tranquilised properly and attacking the members of the rescue team.
The tiger, which was an adult male, was successfully tranquilised and rescued after a six hour operation. Officials have mentioned that he will be shifted to Guwahati Zoo.
— Assam Forest Department (@assamforest) December 20, 2022
It is being speculated by forest officials that the tiger could have strayed from Orang National Park in Darrang district, about 150 km away, and was probably swept away by the strong current of the Brahmaputra while drinking water from it. The veterinarians will examine the tiger thoroughly and it will probably be released in the wild after ensuring that it is healthy. The photographs of the tiger’s stripes will be taken to ascertain its identity and whether it is part of the existing database with the department.