During the second round of devastating floods that hit Kaziranga National Park this past weekend, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and The Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) teamed once again to save and transfer five rhino calves, ranging from one week to six months of age, to safety at the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC).
The park is reportedly 85 percent submerged now due to the intense flooding.
As noted on the IFAWwebsite, the first rhino calf saved was a one-week-old male with his umbilical cord still attached. The newborn was rescued through the joint efforts of the CWRC Mobile Veterinary Service (MVS) unit and the Kaziranga Forest Rescue team early Sunday morning.
The calf was found in a severely stressed condition, having been separated from his mother during the sudden rise in water levels on the fringes of the national park.
The MVS team, led by CWRC veterinarian Dr. Daoharu Baro, reached the area in response to an emergency call from the Kaziranga Forest Authority. Dr. Baro examined the calf and decided that he should be transported to CWRC for his betterment.
A female rhino calf, approximately five to six months old, was then found stranded in a flood-hit household in Baghmari. She was rescued by a Kaziranga Forest Rescue team led by veterinarian Dr. Debabrata Phukan and, given her condition, transported to CWRC for stabilization and care.
Another male rhino calf, five to six months old was rescued by a Kaziranga Forest Rescue team as he was struggling for survival near the inundated Interpretation Centre building at Mihimukh, in the Central Forest Range of Kaziranga.
CWRC MVS veterinarian Dr. Samshul Ali conducted the rescue operation with the forest department team. The calf was transported to the nearest road by boat and later brought to CWRC for further care.
A third male rhino calf, nearly two months old, was rescued by frontline forest staff of the Agoratoli Range and brought to CWRC Sunday evening.
“The four rhino calves admitted today are all stressed due to the trauma they have undergone, also by being caught in the floodwaters and separated from their mothers,” said Dr. Panjit Basumatary, lead veterinarian at CWRC said in a post on the IFAW website. “They are being provided the requisite care and are under round-the-clock observation in our Large Animal Nursery.”
Yesterday morning, yet another female rhino calf was saved after taking shelter in the backyard of a household of flood affected Na Jan village near Bagori, the Western Range Forest of Kaziranga National Park. In a joint effort by the CWRC rescue team and the Kaziranga Forest Authority, she was also brought in for care on Monday.
Meanwhile, the rhino calf rescued in July’s flooding has stabilized and was recently introduced to the older rhino residents; eight of which were rescued in last year’s flood.
Sadly, this year’s flood is expected to be even worse than the one that hit last year.
WAN applauds the heroic efforts of organizations such as IFAW, its valued partners and team members who work together to save these sweet defenseless animals. We encourage people to find out ways they can help by donating HERE!
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