Assam floods: Kaziranga rhino cub rescuers share 1st-hand account
Golaghat: A video that surfaced on July 14 showing a rhino cub being rescued from the flood-hit Kaziranga National Park in Assam attracted attention from all social media users. While some termed them as unsung heroes, others applauded them for going about their work even with the bare-minimum facilities.
However, not many are aware of the fact it was business as usual for the men who work with the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC). As this EastMojo team found out, the viral video was just a tip of the iceberg when it came to the kind of work they do during floods on a regular basis.
Situated in Kaziranga National Park in Assam, CWRC was founded by the Assam forest department and the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) with support from WTI’s partner, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).
The team of rescuers included Chandra Swargiary, Hareshwar Das, Lakhiram Das, Dr Daoharo Boro, Dr Bhaskar Choudhury, Dr Samsul Ali and Debajit Saikia of Manas National Park.
EastMojo recently traveled to Kaziranga to take stock of the post-flood scenario during which it got an opportunity to interact with Chandra Swargiary and his team. Swargiary shared his first-hand account of the dramatic rescue mission of the rhino cub.
According to Swargiary, the cub was not in the position where it was rescued from but was around 2 km further. “There were a few villagers who showed us the path and after a while we managed to locate the rhino cub. It was difficult for us as it was swimming and if being followed it could change path which would make our task even more difficult. After a while, it stopped near the roof of an inundated house and it was trying to breathe. That is when we managed to rescue the cub,” Swargiary told EastMojo.
The video that surfaced on several social media platforms only showed 45 seconds of the struggle that lasted for around 30 minutes.
“Only the person who was present there can understand the kind of struggle that went into rescuing the rhino. Even the boat was not large enough,” Swargiary added.
The cub is now being treated at the CWRC near the Kohora range of Kaziranga National Park and will be released soon after it completely recovers.
The video that surfaced is a result of a well-coordinated task carried out between the forest department, CWRC, state police department, State Disaster Relief Force, local administration and the residents of the area through a communication network for which the awareness programmes and flood preparedness drills begin around three months prior to the flood season.