Ganga and Alam: Story of Human Elephant Cooperation

Life near National Parks is full of wonders. Harmony among different forms of life, including the human beings, is prominent everywhere. And if we are able to conserve the remaining wild, it is only due to the dedication of few human beings who adopted the jungles and everything related to it as their own.

Such is a story of Ganga, a patrolling elephant at Manas National Park. Ganga an orphaned elephant calf was rescued from the river Beki in the month of July  2007. At the time of rescue, the calf was about few weeks old.  Pabitra Das (Forester-I) and Md. Alam (Mahout), two of the forest officials rescued this calf in the  serious condition.

The Range Officer  gave complete responsibility to Md. Alam for proper upkeeping of the calf. Naturally, Alam was affectionate to the elephant. Therefore, he took all the responsibility to upkeep Ganga.

Alam had a small room at Mahout camp (Captive Elephant campus).  He decided to shelter the elephant calf in his room and removed the only bed from his room to have some more space . Thereafter, he prepares a bed with thatch and gave one side of the bed to Ganga and another side for himself.  Inside the room, he  stored milk for calf and one double blanket for both of them. Within 24 hours of rescue, Ganga became familiar with Alam's company. He was bathed properly and fed 10 liters of milk immediately. Ganga was regularly treated with a massage with some lukewarm water by mixing with traditional pain relief medicines. 

Alam fed Ganga 10 liters of milk at every 6 hours as prescribed by Veterinarian along with medicines. Simultaneously, he messaged her body every morning and evening. For about 1 week, Alam was unable to move outside from Mahout Camp.

Approaching River Water Following Alam

Learning to walk on village road

Even the wild animals are privy to love and affection. Once Ganga recovered fully, she adopted Aalam as her own and followed her companion everywhere.  At night, Ganga would her trunk over Alam to feel his presence. 
Alam, a mere human, was unable to carry the load of an elephant's trunk over him the whole night and he often removed it. But, Ganga, the baby calf would immediately react and forcefully put her trunk on him. She cared for him and they had a strong bond. 

Taking bath with  Alam

After two weeks Alam got another assistant to support Ganga during the day.  With proper care, love and affection Ganga grew up.  Within one year Ganga like to move the local market , villagers' home following Alam. After two and half years Alam trained Ganga like other captive elephants. 

Now Ganga has become a matured and faithful patrolling elephant based at Katajhar Antipoaching camp under Bansbari range of Manas National Park with Alam. Both Ganga and Alam are happy. I hope good health and future for Alam and Ganga.

During training
If you want to meet Ganga and Alam, do come to Manas this year. Come to visit the wild and return with memories and true stories that will make you happy for the rest of your life. 

Village visit 

Ganga is ready for Patrol with Alam


  1. This is such a beautiful story. I have heard a lot of stories about the elephants, but very few about the mahouts and the passion, love and hard work they put in for these beloved beings. The fact that he has taken so much of care for his elephant, shows just how much love and respect he has for it. I hope you write more highlighting the hard work such individuals do, Debo da.


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