Nearly two years after having been rehabilitated #BackToTheWild, Sohola, a male rhino that had been hand-raised at IFAW-WTI and the Assam Forest Department’s Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC) and subsequently released into Kaziranga National Park, was sighted on April 4, 2017 near Gendamari Forest Camp.
Sohola was just about four months old when his mother was killed by poachers. He was found next to his mother’s carcass near Sohola beel (pond) under the eastern range of Kaziranga on December 19, 2010. He was rescued by Assam Forest Department personnel and a team from CWRC’s Mobile Veterinary Service unit.
Sohola was hand-raised at CWRC for over four years. On March 17, 2015, he was released into the Bagori range of Kaziranga with another sub-adult male, Baghmari, who had been separated from his mother during the annual floods in 2012. Both rhinos were radio collared and ear-tagged prior to release.
Baghmari, who is now referred to as ‘Gabbar’ by forest staff, was sighted at the Rowmari Forest Camp a few days ago. Both the rhinos’ monitoring collars had dropped last year; they are now identified by their ear tags. They have survived two major floods that inundated almost 80 percent of the park. KM Abdul Awal, a forest guard posted at Gendamari reported that the rhinos in the area moved to higher ground during the floods, but returned to the camp once the grassland resurfaced.
The sightings of Sohola and Baghmari have been confirmed by former CWRC veterinarian Dr Biswajit Boruah, forest guards KM Abdul Awal (Gendamari camp) and Bubul Gogoi (Rowmari camp), and IFAW-WTI’s Head Veterinarian (NE), Dr Bhaskar Choudhury. Their continued well-being in the wild is testament to the robust hand-raising and rehabilitation protocols practised at CWRC.