DERGAON, June 20 - At a time when man-animal conflict has been making the prime time news, a deer has set an example of wonderful man-animal attachment.
A barking deer delivered a baby at the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC) at Kaziranga in Golaghat district. But what is most amazing is that the mother deer has been coming to the centre to deliver her baby once a year for the last five years!
An orphan female barking deer, which was about one month old, was rescued from Manja in Karbi Anglong on June 7, 2015 and taken to the CWRC. The baby deer was treated at CWRC, a joint venture of the Assam Forest Department, Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) and International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), which was established in August 2002 at Borjuri near Panbari reserve forest of Kaziranga.
After treatment, the deer was released with a permanent ear tag in the Panbari Reserve Forest on November 29, 2015, after which it disappeared.
But, in an extremely surprising incident, the deer came back to the CWRC about a year later. The whole staff of the centre was delighted. Their joy was multiplied when she gave birth to a baby deer. After 4-5 months, the mother deer disappeared again. The deer repeatedly returned to the centre, which witnessed four of her babies.
She again came to the CWRC in the first week of May and delivered another baby last week.
Dr Rathin Barman, chief of the centre, spoke about certain special characteristics of barking deer. �Barking deer is a very old stock or primitive animal. They are always solitary and never move with the babies. They hide their babies in bushes and go to the babies only when they see no threat in the surroundings,� he said.
Barman said this particular deer has been coming back to the CWRC to deliver her babies probably because she felt safe in the campus.
With its limited but dedicated staff, the CWRC has handled about 6,500 animals since its inception, while 65 per cent of the rescued animals have been released in the forests after treatment and care. Major milestones of the CWRC�s work have been the reintroduction of rhino and swamp deer at Manas National Park. Barman said that 10 animal keepers, two veterinary doctors, and one biologist and communication manager were working at the centre.