CWRC, Kaziranga National Park, August 13, 2017: As a second and more devastating wave of monsoon floods threatens the iconic Kaziranga National Park in Assam, the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC) – IFAW-WTI and the Assam Forest Department’s wildlife rescue, treatment and rehabilitation facility – has stepped up efforts to aid wildlife in distress.
Floodwaters have risen rapidly in the last 48 hours, inundating the wetland and fringe areas of the national park. Five displaced hog deer rescued by forest staff from Tamulipathar village adjacent to Kaziranga’s Central Forest Range were brought to CWRC yesterday. They were provided treatment for minor injuries and ear-tagged, and are currently under observation in a holding paddock prior to their release back into the wild.
A two-week-old male Asian elephant calf was also rescued on the bank of the Jai Bharali River by people from the local community in Assam’s Sonitpur district. The calf was brought to CWRC on the afternoon of August 11 by the forest department’s North Bank Wildlife Veterinary Care unit, led by Dr Arindam Pachoni. It is currently under observation at the Large Animal Nursery and has been provided rehydration fluids and supportive treatment.
In another incident on August 11, a CWRC Mobile Veterinary Service (MVS) unit led by Dr Samshul Ali assisted the forest department in rescuing a male elephant calf, about a year-and-a-half old, from the Buroi Ghat (Tokobari) area in the Biswanath district.
“The elephant calf had probably battled the floodwaters for a few hours; it had hypothermia was suffering pulmonary distress”, said Dr Ali.
The displaced calf was in an agitated state and had taken shelter in a tea estate, having earlier created a panic in a nearby village. “The calf had probably battled the floodwaters for a few hours; it had hypothermia was suffering pulmonary distress”, said Dr Ali. “Its natal herd could not be located. I tranquilised it but since it was quite large it was difficult to get it to the transportation vehicle. Fortunately, the local villagers helped out – the vehicle was just about 300 metres away, but it took 40 people to carry the calf over that distance on a makeshift bamboo stretcher!”
The calf was shifted to CWRC after a seven hour road journey covering 260 kilometres. It is being provided the requisite treatment and care in the elephant stockade. More updates will follow.