Preparation: The Rhino Has To Go Where....?
....into a crate, onto a truck and into it's new Boma!
Manasi, 3 years old weighing a svelte 800 kilograms and Roje, 3 years old weighing 1,000 kilograms ("..she wears it well," says my colleague Chris Cutter), are the two lucky females that are about to discover a new home.
There used to be about 100 rhinos in the Manas National Park. There are only approximately 2500 Indian rhinos in the wild. These figures depict the magnitude of this move!
The two had to be separated in order to become habituated to their transport crates. This occurred rather quickly, which made it easy for the rescue team to stick to the transfer date.
A Rhino Rehabilitation Station was established in the Manas National Park. It's intention is to facilitate future rhino soft-releases and reintroductions ("satellite stations" of CWRC). Newly constructed "bomas" will accommodate the two juvenile females allowing them to become acclimated to life in the wild. The bomas are designed to ensure for the protection of the animals as well.
"The rhinos will wear radio collars for post release monitoring," said Dr. Ian Robinson, Director of Emergency Relief. "We want to do everything possible to assure a successful transition back to the wild for these animals."
The most important and final step in preparation: Rhino dung from Kaziranga was taken to Manas and spread throughout the new boma, so that it would smell (I'm sure it did!) like "old" territory.