WATCH: mother rhino and little one reunited in India

In this brief video above you can hear the IFAW-WTI team member and in this instance also camera person, Bhaskar Choudhury, making baby rhino noises, then we see the new baby rhino and her mother reunited after a short separation. 

This post about a recent rhino calf birth was submitted by Sheren Shrestha, IFAW-WTI staff working in India. - IR

There’s wonderful birthday news for rhinos in here in Assam, India.

For the first time in this country, a rhino rescued, rehabilitated and released into Manas National Park by International Fund for Animal Welfare - Wildlife Trust of India staff, has given birth to a female calf!

The new mother, named Ganga by her care takers, was rescued as a three-month-old calf from raging floods in Kaziranga National Park in June 2004 by the Assam Forest Department.

Ganga was admitted to the IFAW- WTI run Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC) near Kaziranga to be hand raised and rehabilitated. In 2007, she and another female calf were released into Manas.

“She was being washed away in the floods when our staff based at Baghmara camp saw her,” said a jubilant NK Vasu, Chief Conservator of Forests and Field Director – Kaziranga, who was present during her rescue.

“They went on a boat and rescued her. We searched for her mother but could not find her. So we admitted her to CWRC. Her condition was quite bad then, but all the efforts that went into her have finally been rewarded.”

Mother and baby in Manas National Park, India. c. 2013 IFAWAssam Forest Department and IFAW-WTI have undertaken a visionary initiative to hand raise orphaned or displaced calves and rehabilitate them in the wild in Manas NP. The Forest Department, Bodoland Territorial Council and IFAW-WTI released five hand-raised rhinos -- three females and two males -- into Manas NP in 2006.

During the severe civil conflict in the 1980s and 1990s, the animal populations, including all the rhinos, were decimated and UNESCO declared Manas a World Heritage Site in danger.

A number of initiatives to repopulate the park including the rhino reintroduction have been implemented here since peace was restored in early 2000s.

The program has been such as success that in 2011, UNESCO lifted the ‘in danger’ designation.

Ganga was one of the first rhinos to reach Manas as part of the reintroduction and this birth marks yet another crucial milestone in IFAW-WTI’s efforts to restore Manas to its former glory.

Although the first time in India, this is not the first time IFAW has helped in the rescue, rehab and release of rhinos that went on to successfully breed in the wild.

With IFAW support, the Wildcare Africa centre in South Africa rehabilitated and released two rhinos, Thandi, a black rhino that was rescued in Namibia and now lives in a game reserve in South Africa, and Mbali, a white rhino that now lives in Swaziland.


PS: Below is a note from IFAW-WTI team member and the camera person, Bhaskar Choudhury.

I saw a little drama when I checked on Ganga and her calf.

Ganga let her calf sleep in a thicket while she was grazing nearby but later lost the smell of her little one.

Luckily, I saw the calf in a thicket.

I climbed a nearby tree and squeaked like a calf to help Ganga find her.

Ganga nearly missed it thrice but on the fourth try she succeeded.

Take a look at this heart-warming video of the reunion above and as always, thanks for your support. 


For more information about our rehabilitation centres around the world, visit our information page.

Note: this post was updated to indicate the correct IFAW-WTI staff member cum videographer, Bhaskar Choudhury, on 4.9.13. - Ed.

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