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Assam Forest Dept. & IFAW-WTI Embark on Rescue Mission to Aid Displaced Wildlife Amidst Kaziranga Floods

Local NGOs and volunteers from nearby villages have also joined forces with the rescue teams to aid in flood relief efforts.

GUWAHATI-  The Assam Forest Department in collaboration with the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) has embarked on a mission to rescue displaced or injured animals and prevent human-wildlife conflicts.

Local NGOs and volunteers from nearby villages have also joined forces with the rescue teams to aid in flood relief efforts. The teams are working tirelessly to rescue stranded animals, provide medical assistance where necessary, and facilitate their return to natural habitats once floodwaters recede.

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Large parts of the Kaziranga National Park in Assam have been inundated by the annual floods in the past few days, impacting both wildlife and local communities.

While essential for the ecosystem’s health, the floods have resulted in a significant number of wildlife species being adversely impacted, with many being swept away by the rising water levels. Moreover, as these animals seek refuge on higher grounds, they frequently encounter conflicts with human settlements, resulting in injuries and fatalities.

The Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC), managed by the Assam Forest Department in collaboration with IFAW-WTI, has played a pivotal role in this effort. In the past two days alone, over 36 animals have been admitted at CWRC due to injuries or displacement including otter pups, barred owls, sambar deer and several hog deer.

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Dr. Sonali Ghosh, Field Director of Kaziranga National Park said, “Kaziranga National Park is well-prepared for the flood season with comprehensive measures in place to ensure the safety of wildlife and staff. Our frontline teams are well-trained and equipped to handle any situation, supported by ongoing capacity-building efforts.

Additionally, rescue teams and veterinary care units are on standby for swift emergency response. Traffic movement is also being controlled along the national highway to prevent road accidents and allow safe passage for wildlife. We hope that our approach in Assam can serve as a model for other states.”

Dr. Bhaskar Choudhury, CWRC Centre Manager and the lead veterinarian, WTI said, “Three Mobile Veterinary Service Units have been stationed at the Eastern range under the Bishwanath Wildlife Division in the north bank, the western range Baguri and one at CWRC to address the needs of distressed wildlife in the Kaziranga landscape.

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Critical cases have been handled in temporary base stations created in the three stations to avoid unnecessary transport to CWRC. All stations are equipped with medicines, surgicals, oxygen therapy, patient monitors etc. to provide the best possible care for flood-rescued animals to give them a second chance of returning to the wild.”

Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) is a conservation organisation established in 1998 with a mission to conserve nature, especially endangered species and threatened habitats, in partnership with communities and governments.

In its 25 years of operations, WTI has saved over 50,000 animal lives, trained and equipped over 20,000 frontline forest staff, assisted the government in creating 7 Protected Areas, sensitised 31 lakh children to conservation and assisted enforcement agencies in combatting wildlife crimes.

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