Rhino rescued from a mud-pit in India

Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Kaziranga (Assam), January 16, 2009: A sub-adult female rhino stuck in a mud-pit near Kaziranga National Park in India has been rescued by the Assam Forest Department, assisted by Wildlife Trust of India-International Fund for Animal Welfare (WTI-IFAW).
The rhino had its hind legs trapped in thick mud in a pit on a stretch of farmland near Rajabari Tea Estate, about two kilometres west of Kaziranga National Park. Dr Prasanta Boro, WTI-IFAW veterinarian, was called in, when it became clear that it was impossible for the rhino to 'pull free' on its own.

"There was a huge crowd gathered around the rhino, which must have unnerved it. There was no way it could have got out on its own. It was fatigued from repeated attempts at pulling itself out of the mud and could barely move when I reached there," Dr Boro said.

Civil Administration personnel intervened to help disperse the crowds of people, who thronged to the site to get a closer glimpse of the helpless animal. Reportedly, a woman was injured as she got too close.

After preliminary examination, Dr Boro administered injectibles comprising life-saving drugs and multi-vitamins.

Meanwhile, the Forest Department authorities including SN Buragohain, Director, Kaziranga NP and DD Gogoi, DFO, Eastern Assam Wildlife Division, devised the plan to free the rhino by digging out the mud around the pit, to level it out.

An earth-mover was then deployed to carefully excavate the mud around the trapped animal's hind legs. About 30 minutes after this intervention, the rhino began to shuffle around. Soon, it freed itself from the pit, and walked slowly away towards the forest.

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