As flood season hits in Assam, rehabilitation staff prepare to rescue animals
When I woke up early in the morning yesterday and caught the morning news in the TV, a visual of an elephant with its calf stranded in a sandbar had me rubbing my eyes in sadness.
A highlight in the TV was showing the stranded elephant with its calf in a small piece of land encircled by violent flood water all around in a remote area of eastern Assam state of north Eastern India.
Its flood time in Assam. The flood situation in Upper Assam has turned grim with the river Brahmaputra and its tributaries flowing above the danger level and submerging vast areas across the state. It is expected to hit Kaziranga National Park any time within 24 hours.
I was touched by the news. I was wondering what will happen to the wildlife of Kaziranga if a food of such magnitude hit the park within 24 hours.
Expecting the flood (as it is more-or-less an annual affair), everyone at the IFAW Wildlife Rescue Center in Assam is in alert and has geared up to protect the wild animals from floods during this monsoon. We have already started our preparations including informing the public about the Dos and Donts in case of wildlife emergencies.
Banners having contact information of the rescue centre and forest offices of all the ranges of Kaziranga have been installed in the sensitive areas in the fringe villages near the park.
Sensitive areas where chances of wild animals straying and wandering across the villages are more have been identified for creating awareness. The IFAW Wildlife Rescue Center team will kick start the awareness meetings for local villagers this week.
Four well-equipped Mobile Veterinary Service units comprising of a vehicle with medicines and equipments and a wildlife veterinarian, are placed on alert to handle any emergency in and around the park.
When the centre veterinarians are busy preparing for the flood the animal keepers are also busy doing their daily activities. They are taking the captive elephant calves for their daily walks in the forest. The calves were spotted enjoying the monsoon water yesterday by the centre veterinarian Dr. Reetika Maheshwari.
I was wondering they are quite lucky to be cared for in captivity. They are enjoying the monsoon water naively; they don’t know what is happening to the other elephants, deers, and rhinos just outside captivity. They are all battling for their survival.
The IFAW Wildlife Rescue Center team is on their toes. Not all animals may be saved of course, but we will definitely be able to make a difference to the lives of many others.