People offer to adopt rhino calves orphaned in Assam floods

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Guwahati
  • Updated: Aug 03, 2016 13:23 IST
Two of the rhino calves that were rescued by the Centre for Wildlife rehabilitation near Kaziranga National Park in Assam. (Subhamoy Bhattacharjee/IFAW-WTI)

The Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC) near central Assam’s Kaziranga National Park on Wednesday said people have offered to adopt rhino calves orphaned during the flood, the most devastating since 2004.

CWRC, India’s only wildlife field hospital run by Wildlife Trust of India, in collaboration with International Fund for Animal Rescue, had on Monday evening put out an SOS seeking sponsorship of milk powder for eight rhino calves under observation at its centre.

Read | Eight baby rhinos saved from flooded Kaziranga, say officials

“Nandini Sharma, a child specialist from Bhopal wants to adopt one Kaziranga flood-rescued rhino calf after reading the Hindustan Times story,” a message from the office of Rathin Barman, the centre’s in-charge, read.

Barman said Assamese and Bollywood singer Zubeen Garg had also offered to adopt a calf.

The centre’s annual budget provisions for feeding three rhino calves at the most. The animals survive on milk for up to two years before being reintroduced to the wild. The average daily intake of a rhino calf is 3.2kg of Lactogen2, milk powder prescribed for human babies, mixed with nutrients. The same formula feeds rhino and elephant calves.

It costs the centre Rs 45,000 per day to feed the eight calves.

CWRC has taken in eight rhino calves separated from their mothers, unlikely to be reunited again. Though the water level in Kaziranga is receding, there is still a likelihood of more calves ending up at the centre.

The centre’s number for adopting or sponsoring the feed of a rhino calf is 03776-294563.

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