It’s a boy!

IFAW-WTI’s effort to repopulate Manas National Park in Assam is paying rich dividends with one of the rehabilitated and released rhinos, Ganga, giving birth to a healthy calf.

This is Ganga’s second calf after her release back to the wild in 2010.

What has had the conservationists cheering is how Ganga defied the laws of nature and gave birth in a span of 26 months, as compared to the average of at least four years for wild rhinos.

“Twenty-six months of inter-calving is very unusual, but we are happy that our efforts to Bring Back Manas are slowly turning into a great conservation story of this century,” said Bhaskar Choudhury, Head Veterinarian, IFAW-WTI. The new born calf was sighted by the IFAW-WTI team on June 19 and confirmed by the Assam Forest Department.

Ganga was found when she was four months old, rescued by the forest department after she was swept away during the annual floods in Kaziranga National Park in 2004. The IFAW- WTI animal keepers at the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitaiton and Conservation (CWRC) hand raised her  and she was released along with two other female rhinos, Mainao and Jamuna in a boma in Manas in 2007. To repopulate the region with wild rhino population that had locally gone extinct, she was finally let out of the boma to live in the wild in 2010.

After three years of living in the wild, she gave birth to a female calf in 2013 bringing success to the rehabilitation programme. That year saw the two other released rhinos Jamuna and Mainao also give birth to young ones giving us much cause for cheer.

Manas National Park had all the epithets that a protected area can dream of. It was a National Park, a Tiger Reserve and a UNESCO World Heritage Site until it was almost completely stripped of its faunal and floral heritage during a period of civil unrest in the region in the late 80s and early 90s.

IFAW- WTI with the Assam Forest Department have put eight rhinos back to the wild and these rhinos have already started contributing to the pride of Manas as a revived UNESCO World Heritage site.

–RGC

 

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Article source: IFAW

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