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Assam forest officials celebrate World Rhino Day by rescuing orphaned calf

The orphaned rhino rescued by Assam Forest Department officials being fed formula milk

A female orphaned one-horned rhinoceros calf aged between two and three months which was rescued by the Assam Forest Department is showing signs of recovery. It was found in Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary and today on the occasion of World Rhino Day celebrations, is all set to be released into a dedicated rhino paddock, giving a ray of hope to the Forest Department officials. 

The calf was found alone near the Haduk beel or lake area of PWS and the forest officials suspected that its mother was dead. It was admitted to the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation in Kaziranga, Assam on September 15.

Initially the forest department officials on spotting this calf, monitored it for 10 days. She tried her best to become part of other lactating mothers in that area but was not able to do so. Being on its own, the calf was starved and became highly emaciated. Consequently, they rescued and handed it over to CWRC.

On being admitted to the Centre the calf showed acute signs of dehydration.

Talking about this case, Dr. Samshul Ali, Head of CWRC said: “It’s a miracle that the calf had survived this long.”

Following its admission, the calf was fed formula milk which it readily accepted. “The team waited for a few days for the animal’s condition to be stable for doing the necessary blood tests before being released into the rhino paddock,” Dr. Samshul added.

The calf which was in quarantine will be released and it will join two other rhinos which were admitted to the Centre in similar conditions.

Sonali Ghosh, Field Director of the Kaziranga National Park talking about this calf said: “Glad to note that the rhino calf rescued from Pobitora is stable and getting a second lease of life at CWRC. We aim to release her back into the wild when she is independent enough to fend for herself.”

Appreciating CWRC’s effort in rewilding rescued animals, especially young calves, Arun Vignesh Sridharan, Divisional Forest Officer, said: “Thanks to the highly dedicated team and a top-notch veterinary facility, these young animals have a second chance at life.”

CWRC is a joint venture between Wildlife Trust of India, the International Fund for Animal Welfare and the Assam Forest Department. Its dedicated team of vets and keepers have successfully hand-raised young animals and prepared them to be released back into the wild.