Every yr because the annual floods hit Assam, the plight of wild animals of Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve (KNPTR) additionally hit the headlines with the concentrate on the quantity of fatalities.
Apart from the deaths brought on by flooding and automobile hit whereas the animals cross the nationwide freeway adjoining the park to succeed in greater places, dozens of residents of the park unfold throughout 430 sq km are rescued by groups of forest personnel and wildlife veterinarians.
“This year, six teams that include forest personnel and veterinarians were involved in rescuing animals during the floods. The size of the team depends on the size of the animal needed to be rescued. For a tiger rescue, as many as 100 people or more are involved,” mentioned P Sivakumar, director, KNPTR.
This yr, 172 animals together with Three rhinos, Four tigers, 120 hog deer, 31 pythons and Four king cobras have been rescued from in and across the park during floods. The season had witnessed 150 animal deaths together with 18 rhinos (12 resulting from drowning) and 105 hog deer.
Floodwaters have began receding in the park, the largest habitat of endangered one-horned rhinos, and at current almost 50 % of its space is submerged. But work hasn’t stopped for the rescue groups.
On Sunday, a 3-Four days previous feminine rhino calf, which acquired separated from its mom, was rescued from the park’s central vary.
It is being handled on the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC), the one facility of its sort in India the place orphaned or injured wild animals are hand-raised or handled earlier than returning them to the wild.
“The calf is distressed and dehydrated and we are trying to feed it milk formula. Since it’s very small, its health is critical. Efforts are underway to locate the mother and reunite the calf with her,” mentioned Rathin Barman, in-charge of CWRC.
This is the second rhino calf rescued during this yr during floods. Both the animals, together with the 5 calves rescued during final yr’s floods, are staying at CWRC’s facility positioned at Borjuri near KNPTR.
Till date, of the 172 animals rescued during this yr’s floods, 149 have been handled and launched again into the wild whereas 17 had died on arrival or during treatment. Six animals together with 2 rhinos, Three hog deer and a king cobra are nonetheless underneath treatment.
“Rescuing a wild animal always involves some risks as it not used to human presence. Some of us have got injured as well during rescues. Once the animal comes out of the park, chances of it getting injured increases and there’s the issue of crowd management as well,” mentioned Panjit Basumataray, wildlife veterinarian at CWRC.
Officials of KNPTR and CWRC knowledgeable that this yr, the quantity of rescues have been lower than earlier floods resulting from consciousness marketing campaign amongst villagers residing on the park’s periphery on permitting animals that stray out of the park to succeed in greater places or return to the park on their very own.