Rain Delays the Rescue of Stranded One-Horned Rhino

October 7, 2012; 5:07 AM ET
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This photograph of a one-horned rhinoceros in India is courtesy of Photos.com.

Attempts to rescue a one-horned rhinoceros, stranded on the Rani Chapori sand bar in India since Sunday, failed on Tuesday due to heavy rain.

The rhino is believed to have strayed from the Pabitora Wildlife Sanctuary to escape flood waters, according to timesofindia.com. It became stranded on the sandbar along the bank of the Brahmaputra River.

The rescue efforts involve tranquilizing the rhino then airlifting him to a safe area within three minutes by air to a safer location. The whole rescue needs to be completed in about one hour for the safety of the animal.

"In the state of Arunachal Pradesh, 1.3 inches of rain fell early this week and in nearby local areas between 3.5 and 4 inches fell in the past few days," said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Jim Andrews. "The rain in Arunachal Pradesh totaled 2.79 inches in the past three days."

Once the weather clears, the helicopter team is standing by with the equipment needed to complete the rescue. The team is hesitant to tranquilize the rhino for fear it will flee into the water and drown.

If the rescue can be completed, it will be the first time a rhinoceros is flown by helicopter in the country of India.

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