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Corbett Park bids an emotional goodbye to elephant Gomti and Brandy, the German Shepherd

During her farewell, at Corbett Tiger Reserve Park, Uttarakhand, Gomti, the female elephant became emotional, with tears welling up in her eyes

Farewells are always emotional, especially if they take place after years of association. That was the atmosphere in Corbett Tiger Reserve Park in Uttarakhand when Gomti, a remarkable female elephant and Brandy, a German Shepherd, retired from service.

Both were given a fond farewell at CTRP on Wednesday.

Gomti who is 66 years old, has dedicated 47 years of her life to CTRP. Her retirement organised by senior officers and staff at the Aamdanda Gate was very emotional. At the same momentous event Brandy too was also given a farewell.

Gomti had arrived at the Park four decades ago from Assam and since then she had contributed significantly to various important campaigns. Recalling her gentle and disciplined demeanour, the officials of CTRP talked about her notable achievements including the successful rescuing of a tiger in 1987 in the Bagjhala area near Garjia Temple; and in eliminating a man-eater tiger in 2010 in Sundarkhal village. Continuing in the same vein, they added that Gomti in 2012 played a vital role in rescuing a wild elephant in Rishikesh and in 2019 she was instrumental in catching and rescuing a  man-eater in Dhikala.

At the farewell ceremony, Dr. Dheeraj Pandey, Director of CTRP awarded Gomti’s mahouts, Subedar Ali and Nisar Ali (both retired), and Farrukh Khan, with a medal and citation on her behalf. She was garlanded and fed her favourite snack of bananas. The presence of so many people and their love seemed to affect Gomti as she was deeply touched with tear welling up in her eyes. This not only deeply moved the people but also surprised them.

Speaking on the occasion Pandey said that Gomti played a sterling role in tracking man-eater tigers and also tracking tigers for translocation from Corbett to Rajaji Tiger Reserve. “Throughout her 40 years of service, Gomti became an integral part of the Corbett Park community, serving with unwavering dedication and affection,” he observed.

He added that Gomti will always be remembered for gentle behaviour and being cooperative with mahouts.

Along with Gomti, Brandy too was given a warm send-off. This German Shepherd sniffer dog served loyally for 12 years and played an important role in anti-poaching missions and random combing of the reserve area.

Both Gomti and Brandy were retired as per the rules laid down by the National Tiger Conservation Authority.