Sad to lose ‘Ramani’- the rhino calf in Burachapori Wildlife Sanctuary

Posted on
01 November 2016
Burachapori Wildlife Sanctuary, Assam: The rhino calf that was translocated with her mother to the Burachapori Wildlife Sanctuary from Kaziranga National Park in March 2016 brought a new optimism for the Sanctuary and the people of Assam, in rebuilding the rhino population after 25 years. Translocated under the Indian Rhino Vision 2020 (IRV 2020) Program both the mother and the calf adapted naturally in their new abode. A joint team comprising officials of the Assam Forest Department, WWF-India, International Rhino Foundation, and partner organizations has been working round the clock in ensuring the security and well-being of the rhinos.

Meanwhile, in an unfortunate incident, the calf locally named as ‘Ramani’ lost her mother within months due to natural causes. Ramani thereafter displayed extreme resilience in settling in her surroundings. Even during the recent floods in Assam, the calf held her ground, and as water levels rose, she constantly moved to higher grounds. She also responded well to the regular supply of fresh fodder and other mineral supplements provided by the team at Burachapori. And she was doing well thereafter.

However, as confirmed by veterinarians and the monitoring team, Ramani’s health started deteriorating specially in respect of body fat in the later part of September. She was closely observed by the team and was provided regular mineral supplements as advised by veterinarians from time to time. Following the medical support her health started to revive and on October 17, her behavior was noted to be normal and health condition as average, by a special assessment team that observed the rhino. However, on October 19, her health condition worsened abruptlyand an SOS call was sent out in the morning of October 23.
The following few days proved to be very crucial in reviving the health of the calf for the team of doctors attending her. Round the clock medical care was given since the noon of October 23 by a team of some of the most experienced veterinariansavailable in the state of Assam. The calf showed signs of high levels of worm infection and necessary treatment was carried out which consisted infusion of a lot of energy fluids along with the best available antibiotics and other medicines. Discussions were also held on whether to take the rhino to Guwahati zoo or to an animal rescue center in Kaziranga NP for better treatment. However, a conscious decision was taken by the vet team not to shift the calf till the critical period was over.

Despite all efforts of the team and the courage shown by Ramani, she lost her battle and breathed her last on October 26, at around 12.30pm. The veterinarians were attending to the rhino and forest department officials as well as our team members were present at the site. 

Taking this experience as learning, WWF-India will work with the Assam Forest Department and other partner organizations, and re-assess the Burachapori experience; identify gaps, if any, and prepare the Sanctuary to receive a new batch of rhinos at an appropriate time. 
For further information:
Amit Sharma
Sr. Coordinator – Rhino Conservation
Species & Landscape | WWF-India

 Pooja Chowdhary
Sr. Communication Officer
Species & Landscape| WWF-India


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