Assam forest dept upbeat over Rhino translocation | india | Hindustan Times
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Assam forest dept upbeat over Rhino translocation

After the initial jitters and bureaucratic delays, the Assam forest department is now upbeat over the prospect of more translocation of the highly endangered one-horned rhinos among its forests once important tranquilisers are obtained.

india Updated: Jun 30, 2010 13:22 IST

After the initial jitters and bureaucratic delays, the Assam forest department is now upbeat over the prospect of more translocation of the highly endangered one-horned rhinos among its forests once important tranquilisers are obtained.

"Yes the drugs have finally arrived in New Delhi and our zoo divisional forest officer Narayan Mahanta will soon leave to get hold of it," Assam's chief wildlife warden Suresh Chand told PTI here.

Confirming that after the initial launch of the project in 2008, there was a delay due to unavailability of the drugs, Chand said finally the wait is over.

"There are lot of bureaucratic rules and regulation to get the drug from South Africa which is the only country in the world where it gets manufactured," he says.

With Assam being the only state in the country to have procured this all important tranquiliser, the forest officer said the project was delayed for nearly two years.

Chand recalled that way back in 2008, three rhinos calves were translocated from the wildlife rehabilitation centre of the Kaziranga national park (KNP) to Manas tiger reserve while two others were transported from Pabitora game sanctuary to Manas.

"After that we hit a road block due to unavailability of the drugs but now hopefully next dry season were will go ahead int he translocation programme", he said.

At least 18 rhinos are planned to be translocated to the Manas reserve next season.

Translocation helps in avoiding overcrowding of animals which has been a problem of late in KNP, a world heritage site, the wildlife warden said.

As part of the initiative under the Indian Rhino Vision 2020, the rhinos were to be collected from the Pabitora sanctuary and transported by trucks to Mahanta park for relocation.

However with the start of monsoon, the process had to be stopped and can be only started in the ensuing dry season.