Guwahati: Two adult one-horned rhinos were translocated from Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary to Manas National Park on Tuesday, under the aegis of the Indian Rhino Vision 2020 (IRV 2020).

IRV 2020 is an initiative led by the Forest Department, Government of Assam, in partnership with WWF India, International Rhino Foundation, and several other organizations including WTI, Aaranyak, and College of Veterinary Sciences, Guwahati with support from the Bodoland Territorial Council, and local communities.

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The two rhinos were transported to the release site at Bansbari range, Manas National Park after covering a distance of 181 km from Pobitora. The rhinos were captured from Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary and were transported under the careful supervision of experienced veterinarians and rhino experts as per existing protocols, said a WWF release.

The translocation was organised a year after two sub-adult rhinos were translocated from the Bagori range of Kaziranga National Park to Manas National Park in March 2020. The translocation of rhinos to Manas National Park is an important conservation measure to help conserve the species.

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Speaking on the significance of the rhino translocation, Dr Dipankar Ghose, Director of WWF India’s Wildlife and Habitats programme said, “The IRV2020 programme of the Assam Government and partners is considered as one of the biggest conservation successes in the region, which helped in bringing back rhinos to Manas National Park. The efforts…are commendable.”

The translocation was carried out over two days by a team of over 200 people from different agencies and organisations.

With this last leg of wild-to-wild translocation under IRV2020, a total of 22 rhinos have been translocated from Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary (12) and Kaziranga National Park (10) to Manas National Park. Rehabilitated rhinos were also introduced in Manas by partner organisations. Currently, Manas has more than 40 rhinos.

The two rhinos are being monitored closely by a dedicated team in Manas comprised of personnel from the Assam Forest Department and WWF India. The monitoring will continue for a year to understand the adaptation of the rhinos in their new habitats.

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