Dudhwa to begin second rhino rehabilitation programme tomorrow | lucknow | Hindustan Times
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Dudhwa to begin second rhino rehabilitation programme tomorrow

Thirty four years after successful rehabilitation of one-horned Indian rhinos in Dudhwa National Park, the park authorities are now ready to populate another rhino rehabilitation area on April 10.

lucknow Updated: Apr 09, 2018 10:54 IST
A Rhino in Dhudwa National Park.
A Rhino in Dhudwa National Park.(File Photo)

Thirty four years after successful rehabilitation of one-horned Indian rhinos in Dudhwa National Park (DNP), the park authorities are now ready to populate another rhino rehabilitation area (RRA) on April 10.

Incidentally, the first rhino rehabilitation programme in Dudhwa was initiated in April 1984 and now the second is also taking place in April this year. The only difference being that the first rehabilitation was carried out with five rhinos from Assam while the current one will be from Dudhwa’s own rhino herd.

Dudhwa deputy director Mahavir Kaujlagi told Hindustan Times, “Four rhinos from the existing 33-member Dudhwa rhino family in Sonaripur range would be shifted to Bhadi Tal area on Tuesday and Wednesday in two phases. The entire operation would be supervised by rhino experts from Assam, director Sunil Chaudhary and WWF official Dr Mudit Gupta and me.”

Giving details about the expert team Kaujlagi said, “A team from Assam led by Dr KK Sharma, head of department, Assam Vetarinary College and comprising rhino expert Amit Sharma of WWF, Dr Bhaskar and former chief wildlife warden Bishan Singh Bonal is arriving in Dudhwa to monitor the shifting of rhinos, which is a very delicate process.”

On Monday the team would train Dudhwa field officials engaged in the relocation programme and from Tuesday the shifting would take place. Tranquilizing drug Etorphine required to shift the rhinos has also been procured from South Africa.

The need for an alternate home for Dudhwa rhinos was felt ever since their population grew to nearly three dozen in the specially fenced 27 sq km area in Sonaripur, which often resulted in infighting among the inmates.

The park officials’ search ended on Bhadi Tal area, which was identical to Sonaripur RRA in terms of rhino habitat with adequate grassland, water bodies and environment. The authorities developed the 13.5 sq km area by fencing it and erecting requisite infrastructure. The area was ready to receive its new entrants a few years back, however, owing to one reason or another the programme had to be postponed.

Deo Kant Pandey