Stray rhino rescued in Assam

Posted on
06 July 2016
Tezpur, Assam: In the most recent case of wildlife straying from the Kaziranga National Park to nearby areas, an adult rhino was found straying in the Sootea area of Sonitpur district in Assam. With several areas in the region being submerged in water due to the ongoing monsoon, this rhino is believed to have travelled from the sixth addition area of the National Park covering an area of approximately 10 kms across the National Highway 15 into the Sonitpur district. The presence of the rhino has created panic among the local people.

WWF-India assisted the Assam Forest Department officials in undertaking the rescue operation with all logistical and manpower support. The operation was undertaken under the leadership of the Deputy Conservator of Forest, Sonitpur West Division, and personally supervised by the Conservator, Northern Assam Circle. Dr. KK Sharma, Professor – College of Veterinary Sciences, Khanapara, was the lead veterinarian with support from Dr. Bhaskar Choudhury and other members of the Wildlife Trust of India. Local MLA, Sri Padma Hazarika was also present throughout the rescue operation.

After several efforts, the rhino was successfully tranquilized in Bhuyapara village under Sootea police station on 3rd July, 2016. Elephants were also used to push back the rhino into the Park but to no avail.

On successful tranquilization of the rhino, all precautionary measures have been taken by the rescue team in keeping the rhino stress free and provided it with adequate rest. The rescue team also included staff of three forest divisions, besides police, CRPF, ITBP on rotational basis besides the continued support of the local people.

On closer examination of the rhino, it was noticed that it had multiple injuries and is believed to have been shot at by poachers. The rhino has now been shifted to the Assam State Zoo in Guwahati for its further medical care and recovery from the injuries. Once completely recovered, the adult rhino will be considered to be released into the wild for free ranging.

For further information:
Amit Sharma
Sr. Coordinator – Rhino Conservation |WWF-India
Pooja Chowdhary
Sr. Communication Officer
Species & Landscape| WWF-India  


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