Two elephant calves rescued from floods in India

International Fund for Animal Welfare's picture

An orphaned male elephant calf was rescued yesterday morning by frontline forest staff in Paleng, a village on the fringes of Nameri National Park in Assam’s Sonitpur district.

The year-old calf was brought to the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC), a centre run jointly by the International Fund for Animal Welfare, Wildlife Trust of India and the Assam Forest Department, for long-term care and treatment last night.

The calf was separated from his natal herd while crossing the flooded Kameng River (locally known as the Jia Bhorelli) during the night. The forest department was informed by villagers of the lone calf and unable to locate the natal herd; the rescue team temporarily moved the calf to the Potasali Range Office.

Later in the day, a three-month-old male calf was also rescued from the nearby village of Lalbarahi by the Charduar Forest Range of Assam’s Sonitpur district.

The nearest IFAW-WTI Mobile Veterinary Service (MVS) unit responded to both rescues, driving from the IFAW-WTI run Centre for Bear Rehabilitation and Conservation (CBRC) in Pakke Tiger Reserve in Arunachal Pradesh.

With no immediate hope of reuniting either calf to their natal herds, both calves were brought to CWRC.

MVS veterinarian Dr Rinku Gohain noted that the older calf had superficial external wounds and was suffering from dehydration. Veterinarian Dr Panjit Basumatary stated that the younger calf is weak and has a poor sucking reflex, and is now under closer observation in the CWRC’s Large Animal Nursery.

The floods have not yet hit Kaziranga National Park but our Mobile Veterinary Service units cover extensive areas of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. With these two rescues, CWRC is now treating and rehabbing 12 elephant calves of various ages.


About Rupa Gandhi Chaudhary

Rupa Gandhi Chaudhary is the International Fund for Animal Welfare/Wildlife Trust of India Joint Director & Chief, Communications in India.

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