Progress for orphan elephant calf rescued from trench in India


A three-month-old male elephant calf rescued by the International Fund for Animal Welfare-Wildlife Trust of India (IFAW-WTI) Mobile Veterinary Service (MVS) team a little more than a month ago is accepting milk formula and natural forage in this phase of his stabilisation. It is clear the new calf, named Ghoramara, has made a new friend, too, exploring the foraging area with Buree, the youngest of the other calves at the Wildlife Rescue Centre in Kaziranga, who has been keeping him company since the day of the new calf’s arrival.

According to forest department sources, a mother elephant and two calves were separated from a herd that frequents this area. The trio fell into a newly dug construction trench at the Assam Industrial Development Complex (AIDC), which was more than 14 feet deep, and resulted in severe injuries to the mother. While the sub-adult calf was able to climb out and move to safety, Ghoramara remained with his mother.

“The mother was in a comatose condition and unable to attend to the calf,” said MVS veterinarian Dr Samshul Ali. “Though we tried every means to resuscitate her, she succumbed to her injuries a few hours later.” Ghoramara was sedated and shifted to the IFAW, WTI and the Assam Forest Department’s wildlife rescue, treatment and rehabilitation facility near Kaziranga National Park.

“The calf had undergone considerable emotional trauma and was under severe stress,” said the centre’s lead veterinarian Dr Panjit Basumatary. But thanks to intensive care from the staff, Ghoramara’s rehabilitation so far has been a great success.

With this new addition, there are now nine orphaned elephant calves being hand-raised at the rescue centre with the hope of eventual release.


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