A Very Happy New Year for the IFAW-WTI Veternary Team
This report was filed by Sheren Shrestha, the International Fund for Animal Welfare's (IFAW) Assistant Programme
Officer, working at the Wildife Trust of India (WTI). The reprinted story's focus is a displaced elephant calf treated by WTI veterinarian, Dr Phulmoni Gogoi on Dec 3, 2008. The calf was reunited with
its natal herd, soon after. It was sighted in the wild on Dec 30, 2008.
SURVIVES IN WILD DESPITE DEFORMITY
Kaziranga National Park (Assam),
January 6, 2009: A displaced wild elephant calf
that was reunited with its natal herd in Kaziranga National Park a month ago was
sighted earlier last week, confirming successful reintegration. The sighting has
pleasantly surprised conservationists who had doubts about its survival, as the
calf has a congenital deformity in its leg.
The calf was rescued by the Assam
Forest Department officials from a marsh near Roumari on December 3 last year.
It was provided medical treatment for its injuries and reunited with its natal
herd soon after.
Dr Phulmoni Gogoi, IFAW-WTI
veterinarian, said, "I had treated the calf for an abscess in its hindlimb. She
also had a congenital deformity in the right hind leg stifle joint. She could
not flex the leg fully and had a limping gait. Although, the
forest officials had reunited her with her natal herd, we were doubtful of her
On Tuesday, the calf was sighted by
Dr Prasanta Boro, veterinarian at the IFAW Wildlife
Rescue Center in
Kaziranga, India. He was on his way to release a hog deer, when he
saw the calf among its herd near Karasine Camp in Kohora Range.
"We hadn't got any information on
the calf after its reunion. I believed that it had been predated upon. But when
I saw the pictures taken by Dr Boro, I knew it was her," Dr Gogoi confirmed,
adding that the calf would have to be 'as lucky' to reach adulthood.
For more information about IFAW's recent elephant work around the world, please visit IFAW.org.