Kaziranga: A three-month-old male orphan baby of an electrocuted elephant from Assam’s Golaghat district has found a second home at the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC).

The centre, the only rehabilitation shelter for wildlife orphans in northeast India, is now the abode of this baby after it was rescued by Golaghat division’s forest team.

The adult mother elephant was electrocuted at Dholagaon in Golaghat on October 24, leaving her offspring alone in the wild. During the preliminary search, the baby was not found near the electrocuted mother.

Nearly three (3) months old male orphan baby of an electrocuted mother elephant from Golaghat district of Assam, under care at Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC),a jointly run wildlife care facilty of Assam Forest Department and Wildilfe Trust of India (WTI) supported by International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) .Photo: Dr. Samshul Ali/IFAW-WTI

Locals reported that the baby had moved with the herd. The electrocution of the elephant happened due to the fall of a high voltage wire on the elephant while the herd was passing through the fields of Dholagaon area.

On October 28, four days after the death of the mother elephant, the abandoned baby appeared alone in Miripathar area near Dholagaon in a debilitated condition due to starvation without mother’s milk and care. The calf was in trauma after losing her mother in the tragic accident. 

The baby elephant was then rescued and admitted at the CWRC, the jointly run wildlife care facility of Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) and Assam Forest Department (AFD) supported by International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).

“During necropsy, we were sanguine about the lactating mother. But the baby was missing. Partial input from locals was that the baby had left with the herd. In fact, we advised the forest officials to keep an eye on the baby. Four days later the abandoned baby was seen alone at Miripathar area as it probably could not travel with the herd alone after the death of the mother,” informed Dr. Samshul Ali, a senior wildlife veterinarian who did the mother elephant’s autopsy. Ali is now taking care of the orphan baby at the CWRC.

Hundred hours have passed since the admission of the baby and the caretakers are following ensuring the baby jumbo’s comfort and stability. The baby elephant has found a friend ‘Xadiya’ of similar age among the six member elephant family also taking shelter at CWRC.

At least three elephants have died due to electrocution in Assam just over the last week and the growing number of electrocution deaths have become a major concern for wildlife conservationists in Assam.

Also read: Elephant dies due to electrocution in Assam

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