Kaziranga National Park, Assam, January 8, 2017: A male elephant calf, about eight months old, was rescued by workers from a drain in the Dhendai Tea Estate and brought by forest department personnel to CWRC (the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation, IFAW-WTI and the Assam Forest Department’s wildlife rescue, treatment and rehabilitation facility near Kaziranga National Park) for treatment and long-term care on the evening of January 6.
According to information provided by the Forest Range Officer, Central Range – Amribari, Sonitpur District, labourers at the tea estate had rescued the calf that morning and informed the forest department. A team of forest staff arrived at the spot but could not locate the natal herd. The Dhendai Tea Estate is connected to Sonai-Rupai National Park and frequented by elephants, and it was believed that the herd may have moved deep into the national park.
The forest department team took the calf to the nearby Tarajuli Ghat, a corridor connected to Sonai-Rupai National Park in the hope of locating the herd, but to no avail. A government veterinarian meanwhile examined the calf and found it dehydrated and stressed. It was decided that it should be taken to CWRC for further care.
“The calf was severely stressed since it was transported without sedation”, said Dr Panjit Basumatary, lead veterinarian at the centre, who examined the calf upon its arrival. “We have begun oral rehydration therapy after a scheduled interval to stabilise it.”
The calf is currently housed in the Large Animal Nursery and is being monitored round the clock by the centre’s animal keepers.