Endangered rhino calf admitted to the IFAW Wildlife Rescue Center in India after being abandoned by its mother

IFAW-WTI's Dr. Phulmoni Gogoi bottle feeding rhino calf An endangered Asiatic One-horned rhino calf found alone near a settlement adjacent to Kaziranga National Park was transferred to the International Fund for Animal Welfare’s Wildlife Rescue Center in India for care last week.

The calf, a two-month old male, was found in Panchgharia, a settlement comprised of five households, near Haldibari camp in the Kohora range of Kaziranga. The calf is believed to have been left behind by its mother during a mating attempt by a male rhino.

Dr. Phulmoni Gogoi, a veterinarian at the center, visited the site, on being informed by the Forest Department officials. The calf was dehydrated so it was quickly stabilized with an electrolyte solution.

Attempts to reunite the calf with the mother were made by the Forest Department officials assisted by Dr Gogoi. The efforts continued today as well, but had to be abandoned as the calf appeared to be weakening.

“The calf was suffering from dehydration. Its condition was worse today. It also had congestion in its eyes and had a high temperature. We had planned to stay overnight to try the reunion again, but deteriorating health condition of the calf compelled us to move it to the center for critical care,” said Dr Gogoi.

“If the calf recovers soon, and if the mother is located, the reunion will be tried again. We have asked the locals to call us if they hear or see signs of the mother.” Rhinos, unlike elephants, have a limited home range and hence the mothers can be more easily tracked. This is the third rhino calf to be admitted to the IFAW-run center in 2009. The total number of endangered rhino calves currently being hand-raised at the center has now reached four.

Three of the older rhino calves hand-raised at IFAW’s Wildlife Rescue Center were rehabilitated in Manas National Park in western Assam, in an unprecedented reintroduction program. Manas had lost all of its rhinos to poachers during the political unrest that continued from the late 1980s to the 90s.

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