CWRC carries out massive rescue operation in flood-hit Kaziranga
(A photo- feature)
The Mobile Veterinary Service (MVS) units of the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC) in Kaziranga National Park have rescued a large number of park animals including nine rhino calves separated from their mothers and two baby elephants and over 60 hog deer and swamp deer from different locations of the World Heritage Site.
Kaziranga National Park has been gripped by an unprecedented flood caused by the river Brahmaputra forcing park animals to flee to highlands across the National Highway 37 on the foothills of Karbi Anglong Hills along the southern boundary of the national park.
The CWRC – a wildlife rescue, care and rehabilitation facility is jointly run by the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), Assam Environment Forest Department and International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).
Over the past one week four MVS units – three from CWRC and one from WTI and the Japan Tiger and Elephant Fund’s Wildlife Rescue Centre at Diphu have handled 107 resuce cases.
Of these 23 animals died while taken to the rescue centre and five injured animals died during treatment.
“They have released 62 hog deer out of 92 rescue cases attended to date; they have also attended, with the Assam Environment and Forest Department, three eastern swamp deer rescues (two of the deer survived and were brought to CWRC for treatment).”- states a release issued by CWRC.
“Working with the Kaziranga Forest Authority, MVS teams have also attended ten Asian one-horned rhinoceros rescue cases in a week of floods, of which one rhino died before it could be brought to the rescue centre and another was rescued and released shortly after. Eight rhinos, all calves separated from their mothers, have been kept under observation at the Large Animal Nursery at CWRC. A jungle owlet and a fishing cat were also admitted to the centre for treatment during the floods,” the release adds.
“The number of animals under our care has risen sharply in the last week. We have had to erect a temporary shelter where two baby elephants are being housed. Two paddocks are also ready to the shift rhino calves into once they become stable. Of course, several of these animals will require long term care once we can look beyond the current situation towards possible rehabilitation into the wild,” Dr Rathin Barman, Deputy Director, WTI and Centre-in-charge was quoted in the CWRC release.
“Our veterinarians and animal keepers have been working round the clock to ensure that rescued animals get the required treatment and care”, Dr Panjit Basumatary, lead veterinarian at the centre was quoted in the CWRC release.
“A lot of the animals, as you would expect from the trauma they have undergone, are highly stressed. Several of the orphaned rhino calves in particular were injured and emaciated, and were initially not responding to our milk formula. They are now responding well, however – which brings its own set of challenges since they are aggressive, yet have to be hand-raised and rehabilitated before release!” he adds.
Dr. Panjit Basumatary, Dr. Samshul Ali and Dr. Daoharu Baro, the three veterinarians are attending the wildlife crisis cases round-the-clock with dedicated animal keepers of CWRC.
(Photo: Subhamoy Bhattacharjee/IFAW-WTI)
Text source – CWRC release