Severe flooding in India, rhino calf rescued

Kaziranga floods

As the worst flooding in more than a decade ravages Assam in India, submerging entire areas of Kaziranga National Park, wild animals—from elephants to rhinos to hog deer—are desperately seeking higher ground.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare-Wildlife Trust of India team is responding to the emergency to help save animals in distress.

A male rhino calf, about three months old, was rescued this morning with the help of the frontline staff of the Assam Forest Department. The calf, which had been separated from its mother, was seen struggling to swim across an inundated paddy field opposite the Hathikuli Tea Estate under the Central Forest Range of Kaziranga National Park.

He was brought by boat to a residential backyard temporarily before the IFAW-WTI mobile unit’s Rathin Barman and veterinarian Dr Samshul Ali reached the spot and transported the calf to the to the Wildlife Rescue Centre for stabilisation and care.

“The calf is highly stressed. It has been separated from its mother and had to swim through flood waters,” said Dr Panjit Basumatary, the lead veterinarian at the rescue centre. “After two unsuccessful attempts it is now responding to oral rehydration and milk formula. We have placed it under 24-hour observation in the Large Animal Nursery.”

A hog deer was also rescued and brought to the centre for treatment.

Kaziranga National Park, one of India’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, is facing a major wildlife crisis with large portions of its area being completely inundated in what are being described as the worst floods in a decade.


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