Elephant calf rescued in Assam; an injured makhna located


Sonari (Assam): A female elephant calf of about six months was rescued from Sonari in Sibsagar Forest Division in Assam on Friday last week. An attempt to locate its natal herd failed and the calf was moved to the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC) for nursing and rehabilitation.

The local people from Singlopathar, a village in the Abhayapur Reserve Forest in Sonari range, found the calf on Friday morning and informed the Forest Department. A team including Utpal Bora, Divisional Forest Officer, Sibsagar and Anjan Talukdar, Centre Veterinarian with the Wildlife Trust of India, visited the site to rescue the calf. The reason for its separation from its herd was not known as the calf was in good health. Talukdar, who ran health check-ups on the calf during the time of rescue, said that its health did not seem to be the reason for its abandonment. He added that human interference could have been a possible reason.

A search for the natal herd was initiated by the Forest Staff but being unprepared for a lengthy search, it was abandoned. The calf was taken to CWRC, a wildlife rehabilitation centre set up in Kaziranga National Park by the Forest Department, the Wildlife Trust of India and its international partner the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW). The calf is stable, and will be shifted in with other calves, after initial observation, to prepare it for release and reintegration into the wild, according to the veterinarian. This is the eighth elephant calf to be rescued and brought to CWRC in the past eight months.

Meanwhile, another elephant, a wild makhna (tuskless male) with a swollen left limb was found in the North Bank (Rangapara) area. It was first seen in November and again on December 19. The Forest Department had received information about the elephant passing the day in the Phulbari Tea Estate and raiding crops in the nearby villages at night. Its injuries had healed naturally but complete recovery will take time, said Dr Talukdar.