CWRC, Kaziranga National Park, August 11, 2018 : It was a usual day for Dr Panjit Basumatary until a phone call stirred the atmosphere at the place he works. Dr Basumatary, Vet in Charge at Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC) at Kaziranga, Assam was busy in his routine activities at the centre, and during the course received a call from Diffloopathar Higher Secondary School in Sapjuri-Borjuri area near CWRC saying that over 11 ducklings were rescued by students from the same school. WTI had been associated with the school and had organised an awareness camp for the students of Diffloopathar a few days back. While addressing the issue of rescue, team WTI realised that amidst all this mother duck was missing. She might have gone to other places in search of food, but it was quintessential to reunite the mother duck with the ducklings.
The school had re-opened after a long summer break. So, during the entire vacation, mother duck found the school a safer place to raise her ducklings. In the absence of any such prior experience of attending to lesser whistling duck reunion, the team had initial apprehensions. One step gone wrong could lead to the fatality of the ducklings. To begin with, all 11 ducklings were taken to CWRC for observation and care.
Once the after-care at CWRC was over, the ducklings were taken to the same spot in the school during the afternoon and the team waited for mother duck to come. After 15 minutes, a pair of adult Lesser Whistling duck was spotted soon after which the basket carrying the ducklings were left open. Once set free, the ducklings started quacking around and seeing the parents they came out one by one on their own.
Dr Basumatary fondly remembers the day and says that the entire exercise made him nostalgic as he had a similar experience during his childhood in his native village Taktara in Kokrajhar district of Assam. “I am extremely happy that we could successfully reunite the ducklings with the mother after seven hours of ordeal”, says Dr Basumatary.
CWRC is the only facility in India where orphaned and/or injured wild animals of several species are hand-raised and/or treated and subsequently returned to the wild. Strategically located in Borjuri village adjacent to the Panbari Reserve Forest near Kaziranga National Park in Assam, the centre attends to a wide range of wildlife emergencies resulting from natural or anthropogenic causes. Since it was launched in 2002, the centre has handled close to 4500 animal cases, with nearly 60 per cent released back to the wild.
CWRC was established in August 2002 with a primary aim to stabilise displaced animals and release them back into the wild, as close to the site of rescue as possible, following necessary treatment. The centre follows accepted international protocols and guidelines during rescue, treatment and rehabilitation of displaced or distressed animals.