The conservation efforts taken by Wildlife Trust of India are showing results gradually. Recently, Mainao a rehabilitated one horned rhino at Manas gave birth to a healthy calf. It was beginning of the June when the mother and calf were sighted in the national park. Presently, the exact age of the newly born is a matter of speculation.
Mainao, which means Goddess Laxmi in Bodo language, was rescued from the flood water of Kaziranga on July 28, 2002. At that time she was just a few weeks old and was admitted to Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC). CWRC is a part of Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), supported by International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).
Mainao was given proper treatment at CWRC, and later in year 2006 she was successfully shifted to Manas National Park. She was the one who helped in the reintroduction of one horned rhinoceroses at the respective national park. Today this hand reared one horned rhino – Mainao is a proud mother of a hale and hearty calf.
The take of respective authorities
The respective forest authorities and wildlife conservation organizations are extremely happy with this news. They feel that it is one of the biggest milestones achieved in the campaign of conserving the great Indian one-horned rhino.
Manas National Park falls under Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) and it was the Deputy Chief of BTC Kampa Borgoyari, who named Mainao when she was relocated to Manas. While addressing a national daily, Kampa said, “The birth of the calf is a remarkable achievement in the history of rhino rehabilitation in Manas. I congratulate the Frontline staff and animal keepers, biologists and IFAW-WTI for constantly monitoring her and ensuring her safety. This event is another step forward in bringing back Manas’s former glory.”
There are various other eminent personalities that contributed to the rescue and rehabilitation of Mainao to Manas. One such personality is N K Vasu, presently the field director of Kaziranga. His take on this new ways, “This is great news. Congratulations to the whole team that made this happen.”
Another jovial statement was given by Vivek Menon, the Executive Director of WTI and South Asia Regional Director of IFAW. Menon said, “Mainao was the first-ever rhino to be hand-reared and rehabilitated in the country, proving that back-to-the-wild is a feasible alternative for such displaced rhino calves. Mainao giving birth to a calf is a successful culmination of the rehabilitation effort.”
All these words by the respective authority officials make it clear that Mainao is not alone enjoying the happiness of motherhood; rather, everyone who is connected with wildlife conservation is equally cheered up.
Ganga – The journey of the rescued rhino
Mainao is believed to be walking on the footprints of Ganga, another relocated one-horned rhino at Manas. In July 2004, Ganga was rescued from the annual flood of Kaziranga National Park. She was just three months old when the Assam Forest Department sent her to IFAW-WTI’s CWRC for proper hand rearing. Later Ganga was rehabilitated in Manas and in April, 2013 she gave birth to little rhino named Dharathi.
Manas National Park, one of the renowned UNESCO’s World Heritage Site had once lost its entire populace of rhinoceros in the 90s. In fact the park was even declared as the World Heritage Site in danger. Fortunately owing to conservation efforts made by various organizations like WTI with the support of IFAW, the tag of ‘danger’ is no more in existence.
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Mainao with its newborn calf in Manas National Park, Photo credit: Jamir Ali