Two female Indian rhinoceroses – one adult and one juvenile – have been successfully translocated from Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary to Manas National Park (both situated in Assam, India). Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary has a very dense population of rhinos in its 18 square kilometers (4,450 acres) of rhino habitat, so by moving some of its population to another park, conservationists hope to regrow a viable rhino population in Manas National Park.
The operation of relocating the animals was no small task. According to the International Rhino Foundation:
Under the guidance of veterinarians, field workers, park guards, conservationists and forest department officials, the two animals were captured and released within 24 hours. Veterinarians darted the animals with tranquilizers, then transported them 250 km in crates specially-designed to hold the 1.5 to 2 ton pachyderms.
The successful translocation was made possible by a collaboration among the government of Assam, the International Rhino Foundation, the World Wide Fund for Nature, the Bodoland Territorial Council, and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Their project, the Indian Rhino Vision (IRV) 2020, aims to attain a population of 3,000 wild rhinos in seven of Assam’s protected areas by the year 2020. The conservationists plan to relocate 16 more animals in 2011.
For more information, visit the International Rhino Foundation.
You can also learn more about Indian rhinos on Animal Fact Guide.