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Translocated rhinos� rehab prog receives big boost

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, July 8 � With yet another hand-reared rhino of IFAW-WTI run CWRC near Kaziranga giving birth to a healthy calf at her new home in the wilds of Manas National Park, the rehabilitation of translocated rhinos has received a big boost.

With this, all the three female rhinos hand-reared at CWRC and released in Manas have become mothers, bringing hundred per cent success in their rehabilitation programme. This includes Mainao - which was moved to Manas in 2006 kick-starting the reintroduction programme, and Ganga, both of whom gave birth earlier this year.

The initiative was jointly implemented by the Bodoland Territorial Council, the Forest Department and IFAW-WTI.

The female rhino, named Jamuna, was rescued as a three-month-old calf during the annual floods in Kaziranga National Park in June 2004, by the Assam Forest Department. She was admitted to the Assam Forest Department and IFAW-WTI run CWRC near Kaziranga for hand-raising and rehabilitation. In 2007, she along with another female calf, Ganga, was moved to Manas.

�The reproductive success of the three hand-reared females rehabilitated here is very significant. Their age at calving is also between 9-11 years which is also normal and similar to what has those in free ranging greater one-horned rhino,� Dr Bhaskar Choudhury, regional head, IFAW-WTI, said.

The new mother along with the calf was first sighted by the Forest Department and IFAW-WTI monitoring team members including Anjan Sangma, Rohan Goyari and Gobinda Garh, at the Bansbari Range in Manas, on Thursday.

At Kaziranga � where Jamuna was rescued and hand-reared, Dr Rathin Barman, deputy director � WTI and CWRC-in-Charge, said, �Another reason to smile and celebrate, as our third rehabilitated rhino gave birth to the third rhino calf in Manas.�

Floods in Kaziranga National Park are an annual occurrence, which claim the lives of many animals every single year. The IFAW-WTI run Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC), in the vicinity, has been assisting the Forest Department for many years in rescuing animals from various parts of the park and rehabilitating them back to the wild whenever possible.

While a few lower areas of the park flooded a week ago, forcing the animals to cross over to higher ground, currently the water level has stabilised and even decreased in some regions. The team at the centre, however, is ready in anticipation of the impending floods with a plan of action, made to assist the Kaziranga authorities.

Keeping in mind, rescue missions of previous years, the team has fabricated multiple rescue cages for mammals, reptiles and birds, which include five cages, made especially for deer. The Mobile Veterinary Service unit at the centre has also been put at the stand by 24x7 to handle any rescue emergency which may come its way.

�We have been rescuing wildlife in Kaziranga since 2002 and like every year, the team at CWRC is on call at all hours of every day to deal with any incident. We shall also be enlisting the help of our other MVS units in other parts of the State when necessary,� commented Dr Rathin Barman, Deputy Director of WTI.

Kaziranga National Park has more than 200 species of common as well as rare and threatened wildlife species including the greater one-horned rhinoceros, the Asiatic black bear, hog badger, hoolock gibbon, the Asian elephant and the Royal Bengal tiger, among others.

�With endangered species such as greater one-horned rhinoceros, elephants, eastern swamp deer, among the animals affected by the flood the necessity for prompt successful rescue and rehabilitation drastically increases at this time of the year. Last year during the floods we rescued 129 mammals, birds and reptiles, which included a lot of hog deer, some swamp deer and two Asian elephant calves, and eventually conducted surveys on the flood affected animals in the park,� added Barman.

Efforts are also being made by the IFAW-WTI team, along with the Assam Forest Department and other local NGOs, to make people aware about the rescue protocol for the wildlife which may get displaced during the floods, in a bid to bring down the casualties this year. Leaflets with relevant information have been prepared in the local languages and distributed to the villages in Kaziranga.

�Important phone numbers including that of the Assam Forest Department Directorate Control Room in Kaziranga National Park and CWRC have been included in the leaflets, along with different pictures of animal rescue protocols. We hope that the reach of this information is even greater this year and we can save the lives of as many species as possible with the vital help of the local people,� said Dr Bhaskar Choudhury, Regional Head (North-East), IFAW-WTI.

�Every year the locals of the fringe villages give their all in trying to rescue distressed wildlife, even while their own homes may be submerged. Such dedication and passion in protecting the natural heritage of the park is extremely touching and extraordinary,� added Choudhury, remembering past floods and the inevitable involvement of the local villages in flood relief.

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Translocated rhinos� rehab prog receives big boost

GUWAHATI, July 8 � With yet another hand-reared rhino of IFAW-WTI run CWRC near Kaziranga giving birth to a healthy calf at her new home in the wilds of Manas National Park, the rehabilitation of translocated rhinos has received a big boost.

With this, all the three female rhinos hand-reared at CWRC and released in Manas have become mothers, bringing hundred per cent success in their rehabilitation programme. This includes Mainao - which was moved to Manas in 2006 kick-starting the reintroduction programme, and Ganga, both of whom gave birth earlier this year.

The initiative was jointly implemented by the Bodoland Territorial Council, the Forest Department and IFAW-WTI.

The female rhino, named Jamuna, was rescued as a three-month-old calf during the annual floods in Kaziranga National Park in June 2004, by the Assam Forest Department. She was admitted to the Assam Forest Department and IFAW-WTI run CWRC near Kaziranga for hand-raising and rehabilitation. In 2007, she along with another female calf, Ganga, was moved to Manas.

�The reproductive success of the three hand-reared females rehabilitated here is very significant. Their age at calving is also between 9-11 years which is also normal and similar to what has those in free ranging greater one-horned rhino,� Dr Bhaskar Choudhury, regional head, IFAW-WTI, said.

The new mother along with the calf was first sighted by the Forest Department and IFAW-WTI monitoring team members including Anjan Sangma, Rohan Goyari and Gobinda Garh, at the Bansbari Range in Manas, on Thursday.

At Kaziranga � where Jamuna was rescued and hand-reared, Dr Rathin Barman, deputy director � WTI and CWRC-in-Charge, said, �Another reason to smile and celebrate, as our third rehabilitated rhino gave birth to the third rhino calf in Manas.�

Floods in Kaziranga National Park are an annual occurrence, which claim the lives of many animals every single year. The IFAW-WTI run Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC), in the vicinity, has been assisting the Forest Department for many years in rescuing animals from various parts of the park and rehabilitating them back to the wild whenever possible.

While a few lower areas of the park flooded a week ago, forcing the animals to cross over to higher ground, currently the water level has stabilised and even decreased in some regions. The team at the centre, however, is ready in anticipation of the impending floods with a plan of action, made to assist the Kaziranga authorities.

Keeping in mind, rescue missions of previous years, the team has fabricated multiple rescue cages for mammals, reptiles and birds, which include five cages, made especially for deer. The Mobile Veterinary Service unit at the centre has also been put at the stand by 24x7 to handle any rescue emergency which may come its way.

�We have been rescuing wildlife in Kaziranga since 2002 and like every year, the team at CWRC is on call at all hours of every day to deal with any incident. We shall also be enlisting the help of our other MVS units in other parts of the State when necessary,� commented Dr Rathin Barman, Deputy Director of WTI.

Kaziranga National Park has more than 200 species of common as well as rare and threatened wildlife species including the greater one-horned rhinoceros, the Asiatic black bear, hog badger, hoolock gibbon, the Asian elephant and the Royal Bengal tiger, among others.

�With endangered species such as greater one-horned rhinoceros, elephants, eastern swamp deer, among the animals affected by the flood the necessity for prompt successful rescue and rehabilitation drastically increases at this time of the year. Last year during the floods we rescued 129 mammals, birds and reptiles, which included a lot of hog deer, some swamp deer and two Asian elephant calves, and eventually conducted surveys on the flood affected animals in the park,� added Barman.

Efforts are also being made by the IFAW-WTI team, along with the Assam Forest Department and other local NGOs, to make people aware about the rescue protocol for the wildlife which may get displaced during the floods, in a bid to bring down the casualties this year. Leaflets with relevant information have been prepared in the local languages and distributed to the villages in Kaziranga.

�Important phone numbers including that of the Assam Forest Department Directorate Control Room in Kaziranga National Park and CWRC have been included in the leaflets, along with different pictures of animal rescue protocols. We hope that the reach of this information is even greater this year and we can save the lives of as many species as possible with the vital help of the local people,� said Dr Bhaskar Choudhury, Regional Head (North-East), IFAW-WTI.

�Every year the locals of the fringe villages give their all in trying to rescue distressed wildlife, even while their own homes may be submerged. Such dedication and passion in protecting the natural heritage of the park is extremely touching and extraordinary,� added Choudhury, remembering past floods and the inevitable involvement of the local villages in flood relief.

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