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Wednesday, August 04, 2021

Assam floods: Netizens cheer as rescued baby rhino is fed from bottle

“That is progress because initially they do not take to the feeding bottle because it’s alien for them,” staff taking care of the calf explained. “We put ‘gur’ (molasses) on the nipple of the bottle — if it tastes sweet the baby is more inclined to take to it.”

By: Trends Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: July 23, 2020 5:10:32 pm
assam floods, kaziranga rhino calf rescue, baby rhino rescue assam flood, rhino calf recovering assam, baby rhino drinks milk bottle, viral videos, assam news, indian express Its not easy for baby rhinos to survive without its mother and it usually takes a lot of time for it to get adjusted to bottle feeding. (Source: CWRC)

A heartwarming video of a baby rhinoceros drinking milk from a feeding bottle has been giving hopes to many online. The female calf, which got separated from its mother last week in Assam floods, is currently at the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation Conservation (CWRC) in Kaziranga.

On Wednesday, in what was a cause of celebration, the young rhino began sipping milk. “That is progress because initially it did not take to the feeding bottle as it’s alien for them,” said Rathin Barman, who heads CWRC. “We put ‘gur’ (molasses) on the nipple of the bottle — if it tastes sweet the baby is more inclined to take to it.”

Watch the video here:

The one-year-old calf was rescued by the CWRC team along with forest staff from the inundated areas of the Agartoli range in the park last week. Video of the rescue operation, with the baby being brought out in a small dingy boat, had garnered a lot of attention online, with many concerned about its well-being as it got separated from her mother.

“It is likely that the mother and child were seeking higher ground but got separated because of the waters,” said Barman. “In these cases, it is impossible to find the mother but we can take care of the calf.”

For the next month or so, the rhino calf will be kept in the room alone. Once it develops a relationship with its keeper, it will be shifted to a padlock attached to the room. “And a month or two after that, it will go to the bigger padlock, where the other rescued rhinos are,” Barman added.

The latest guest will be the sixth baby rhino in CWRC and will be there at the centre for two more years before it can be released back in the wild. “At this tender age, the baby will be killed by tigers without its mother to protect it,” he explained.

Set up in 2002, the CWRC in Kaziranga under the aegis of the Wildlife Trust of India takes in orphaned/injured animals for treatment. Till date, the centre has handled close to 4500 animal cases, with nearly 60 per cent released back to the wild.

The video delighted many online, who thanked the forest officials and the caretakers at the rehabilitation centre for their services. Many were glad that the baby rhino was doing well after being separated from its mother, calling it a sign of hope in trying times of severe flooding.

The park and the CWRC team have been giving regular update about the baby rhino and people on social media are rooting for its recovery. The good news comes at a time when 92 per cent of the national park is under submergence and according to latest data released by the park, 123 animals have lost their lives in this year’s flooding.

[with inputs from Tora Agarwala in Assam]

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