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33 flood-hit animals rescued in Kaziranga

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Sep 4 � The Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC)-run Mobile Veterinary Service (MVS) units of Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) and International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), in association with the Assam Forest Department and local people, has rescued 33 straying wild animals during the recent floods in the Kaziranga National Park.

The rescue operations were done during August 25 to 30.

�The recent floods submerged around 80 per cent of the park area, causing serious threat to the Kaziranga�s wildlife. Elephants, rhinos, tigers and the worst-affected deer population had suffered a lot. Most of the deer have shifted towards highlands of Karbi Anglong,� CWRC sources told The Assam Tribune.

The National Highway-37, the lifeline through the Kaziranga landscape, happens to be the most vulnerable stretch, having a number of animal corridors connected to the park. And wild animals in large numbers move towards the highlands through these animal corridors during floods.

As in every year, the Kaziranga forest authorities had introduced �time-card� to control vehicular movement on NH-37. Animals face problem due to fast vehicle movement, which frequently leads to death of wildlife.

The Forest Department officials and guards, Forest Protection Force personnel, police, NGOs, Jeep Safari Association and most importantly, the local people around Kaziranga, worked together for wildlife safety during the floods as in earlier years.

�Four Mobile Veterinary Service units of CWRC had covered the crisis zones of Kaziranga during flood for animal safety. Each unit has one veterinarian and two or more animal keepers along with other conservationists and volunteers as per need,� CWRC sources said.

Out of the 33 rescued animals, 26 were released by the MVS team after minimum intervention in the safe wilderness of Kaziranga. Six hog deer and one wild boar died. Seventy-five per cent of the rescued animals were released in Kaziranga during flood this year.

CWRC) was established in association with Assam Forest Department in 2002 to attend to wildlife in distress near Kaziranga. It has so far attended to more than 3,500 wild animals out of which 60 per cent were released back to the wild.

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