Guwahati, Sept. 26: A translocated rhino has given birth at an interior place in Manas, signifying that the shifted mammals have adapted well to the new environment and are breeding.
“Information has been received that a rhino (number 10) translocated from Pobitora has given birth today at Khoirbari under Bhuyanpara range in Manas,” chief wildlife warden Suresh Chand told The Telegraph.
Chand said this was good news as it signified that the translocated rhinos had adapted to their new home and had started breeding.
The translocation was carried out under the Indian Rhino Vision, 2020 — a joint initiative of the Assam forest department, WWF and International Rhino Foundation that aims to attain a population of 3,000 wild rhinos in Assam spread over seven of its protected areas.
Altogether 18 rhinos — eight from Kaziranga National Park and 10 from Pobitora — have been translocated to Manas till date as part of the initiative.
A forest official, however, said the rhino could have been pregnant when it was being translocated. “Pregnancy tests were not done. Only general physical tests were carried out.”
A source said a monitoring/patrolling team had come upon the calf this morning in an interior area of Bhuyapara, and as the female rhino 10 frequently used the area, it was assumed that it was her calf.
Everyone was eagerly waiting to get a look, the source said, adding that sightings would be difficult as the location was quite remote and thickly vegetated.
Field officials will conduct a search tomorrow morning to locate the calf.
The source said the rhino vision programme had provided a lot of infrastructure support to the park, helping it to reach its current position, adding that the road had not been smooth, as the park had lost two rhinos to poachers.
“All this has given us a lot of experience in handling translocated rhinos and we have certainly learnt a lot,” the source added.