3 rescued rhino calves released into Assam tiger reserve

Guwahati, April 10 (IANS) Wildlife authorities on Saturday translocated and released three rhino calves into the Manas Tiger Reserve (MTR), which were rescued during floods at the Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve (KNP&TR) in Assam, officials said.

Senior wildlife official Rathin Barman said that these rhino calves would remain in the dedicated ‘boma’ (specified areas) for around a month for their familiarisation with the forest and then they would be freed to the wilderness of the reserve.

“During this one month we would closely supervise their movement and health conditions,” Barman told IANS over phone.

KNP&TR Director Karmashree P. Sivakumar said that the three rhino calves — two females and one male — successfully shifted from the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC) near Kaziranga, where they were kept ever since they were rescued during the floods in 2019.

He said that these rhino calves have undergone a protocol of rehabilitation for two years before they translocated on Saturday to MTR, 176 km west of Guwahati.

The two female calves were rescued from Hatimura and Kuthuri areas, while the male was rescued from Solmara during the floods that hit Kaziranga in July-August 2019.

The translocation is part of an ongoing effort to increase the number of wildlife at the MTR in Baksa district bordering Bhutan. The national park was devastated for many years due to terror activities and rampant poaching.

“The intra-state rhino translocation would help improve the gene pool of the species,” Sivakumar said.

“Under our commitment to bring back Manas, we have augmented the national park with 19 rhinos, including offsprings of the released rhinos, out of the total population of 44 rhinos,” he added.

–IANS

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