KOHORA, Feb 19 � As part of the joint programme of the Indian Rhino Vision (IRV) 2020, the WWF, International Rhino Foundation (IRF) and Assam Forest Department, supported by the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) and US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the initial phase of a rhino translocation programme to the Manas National Park started today from the western range of Bagori under Kaziranga National Park.
According to Dr SP Singh, the Chief Conservator of Forest (CCF), Wildlife and Chief Operation Officer, Translocation Core Committee, the basic objective of rhino translocation under the Task Force for Translocation of Rhinos formed by the Government of Assam in 2005 is to maintain genetic diversity of rhinos whose population, except in Kaziranga, is very less in other parts of the country. Genetically it is not good to keep all the animals of the same species in one basket alone, he added.
According to him, ten rhinos had already been released in the Manas National Park and they are adapting well and so ten more rhinos in a batch of three to four would be translocated to Manas from Kaziranga for which special permission is needed from the MoEF.
Talking to this correspondent, the veterinary expert and one of the team leaders, Dr Kushal Sharma said that tranquillizing rhinos is very risky since chemicals like M-99 used in the process may be fatal if a minute droplet comes in contact with a human being. After the tranquillizing process is over, the rhino gradually becomes unconscious (approximately after five to six minutes) and placed in sledge and finally put inside the cage. M-50-50 is later administered on the unconscious rhino to regain consciousness. Earlier, 10 rhinos were translocated to Manas from Pobitora and four from the Wildlife Rescue Centre. Now 13 rhinos have survived in Manas.
Rhino rescued: A full-grown rhino which got stuck in deep mud near the second elephant riding tower adjacent to Mori Diffloo river under Kohora central range for more than four hours yesterday was successfully rescued by the staff of Kaziranga National Park.
The rescue operation was carried out in the presence of senior officials and veterinary experts from the Wildlife Rescue Centre of Wildlife Trust of India with the help of an excavator.