Assam: Asian Wild Buffalo embark Rewilding after 4 years of Rehabilitation at CWRC

The successful release also garnered accolades from Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma on 29th May.

KAZIRANGA-   An Asian wild buffalo rescued as a neonate in January 2020, embarks on a journey back to the wild in the Burachapori WLS under Kaziranga Tiger Reserve, Assam. The successful release also garnered accolades from Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma on 29th May.

The animal was undergoing rehabilitation at the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC) jointly operated by the Assam Forest Department and the IFAW-WTI.

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The wild buffalo was merely a few months old when discovered alone in Kaziranga Tiger Reserve in 2020. It was suffering from a naval infection and severe fever. Several reunion attempts were made by the Forest Department and CWRC team but the mother could not be located. Consequently, the young calf was admitted to the rescue centre for care and treatment.

Over the past four years, the CWRC team has diligently ensured the calf’s growth and welfare, preparing it for its eventual reintroduction to its natural habitat. This successful release marks a significant milestone in the ongoing endeavours to rescue and rehabilitate wildlife in the region, underscoring the commitment to conservation efforts.

Burachapori Wildlife Sanctuary (WLS) falls under category 4 of the IUCN protected area management list and has a resident population of Asian wild buffaloes. Following the necessary release protocol, a team led by Arun Vignesh (IFS), DFO, EAWL Division, Kaziranga TR and veterinarians including Dr. Biswajeet Baruah (Forest Veterinary Officer, Kaziranga TR), Dr. Bhaskar Choudhury (Centre Manager, CWRC), and Dr. Nihar Oak (CWRC), released the buffalo in a temporary boma (fenced enclosure) at the sanctuary on 29th May 2024.

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The buffalo is being continuously monitored by a team represented by the frontline forest staff of Burachapori WLS and Wildlife Trust of India (WTI).

“The animal is currently in a pre-release boma prepared inside the Burachapori WLS and will soon be released, depending on how soon it shows signs of acclimatization”, says, Dr. Bhaskar Chowdhury, CWRC Centre Manager and the lead veterinarian, WTI.

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Alongside natural grasslands, the boma also has provisions of a waterbody for the buffalo to wallow. “It is expected that the acclimatization process will take between 40 and 60 days, provided that the area is not inundated by floodwaters”, adds Dr. Bhaskar.

The Asian wild buffalo (Bubalus arnee) is listed as “Endangered” in the IUCN Red List of Species. While the global population is estimated at around 3,400 individuals, Kaziranga Tiger Reserve is one of the last strongholds of the species where a population of about 2,600.


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