Transport and Release: Getting There Is Never Easy
On the eve of the anticipated move, the two females were lured into their separate crates with yummy, enticing rhino food. The crowd cheered on as the rest of the preparations began to fall into place. Next, the crates were loaded by cranes onto the backs of trucks. Not wanting to waste a second of valuable transport time, the trucks were packed up and driven out of CWRC towards Manas.
IFAW's Chris Cutter reports on the transport:
"Driving in India is a bit like dodge ball, or like someone throwing rocks at you. You bob, you weave, it's sport. Even the Indian road sign for 'Caution: Pedestrians Crossing' doesn't look like someone walking across the road but instead like someone scrambling/lunging for safety from a speeding car. So a 13 hour drive across India, at any time of day, is a white-knuckler. Even driving from dusk till dawn with a 13 vehicle convoy is eventful. But it also turned out to be the most prudent way to move rhinos."
The next morning, the convoy arrived at the 4 hectare enclosure at Manas National Park. It's furnished with tall grass, old rhino dung, and an electric fence. From reports, it sounds like everything went smoothly. The rhino crates were lowered into the appropriate bomas, the females were released and both were left to enjoy the sanctuary of their new homes.