Elephants Help Tourists to Safety After Deadly Flooding and Landslides
Elephants in Nepal did their part to help rescue hundreds of stranded tourists following devastating floods and landslides that have ravaged parts of South Asia.
The animals were sent to save tourists Monday in the Chitwan district, a popular destination for rhino-watching and elephant rides, according to officials.
Some 600 tourists were left stranded as the waters of the Rapti River, located about 50 miles from the capital city of Kathmandu, rose to devastating levels this week.
"Some 300 guests were rescued on elephant backs and tractor-trailers to [nearby] Bharatpur yesterday and the rest will be taken to safer places today," Suman Ghimire, head of a group of hotel owners in the Nepalese village of Sauraha told Reuters.
The flooding has left 26 of Nepal’s 75 districts submerged in water, according to relief workers. The region, including India and Bangladesh, has been ravaged by heavy rains that brought on fatal flooding.
The death toll in parts of northern India, southern Nepal and Bangladesh devastated by flooding and landslides over the past few days has risen to 218, while millions of others have been displaced.
Deadly landslides and flooding are common across South Asia during the summer monsoon season that stretches from June to September.