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Rhino translocation begins in manas National Park

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Manas, Feb 22 (UNI) Rhino translocation in the country has begun with the arrival of a baby rhino in her new home here at the Manas National Park (MNP) here today.

She was translocated from world famous Kaziranga National Park (KNP), which has an excess rhino population. The entire Rhino population in Manas was wiped out during Bodo militancy between 1990-2003.

As Bodo militancy now moved to pages of history, the Kaziranga authorities became part of conservation history by sending the three-year-old calf, which was recovered three years back in a devastating flood.

A 14-member team, led by Director of the KNP N.K.Vasu, escorted the precious cargo to its new home. A zoological expert, three doctors and other staff were with the calf throughout the night long journey and it was released at an earmarked zone this morning.

The calf was being radio collared and for some time, she would be kept in a two hectare fenced plot till she gets adapted to the new home.

''The baby rhino is in good mood and showed no signs of tiring even after nearly 15 hours of road journey covering a distance of 400 km,'' Manas park warden Abhijit Rabha told reporters.

The 519 sq km MNP, also a Project Tiger Reserve, is a World Heritage Site with just about half-a-dozen rhinos surviving at present.

''We have made an enclosure of about a square kilometre with solar-powered fencing to keep elephants and tigers from attacking the baby rhino,'' Mr Rabha said.

''The translocation of the rhino to Manas is indeed a historic moment,'' said KNP warden N.K.Vasu.

According to latest wildlife census figures, at least 2,000 of the world's estimated 2,400 one-horned rhinos roam the thick Savannah grasslands of Assam, with the 430 sq km KNP alone home to more than 1,600, which was a matter of concern for the conservationists.

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) was supporting the translocation project by providing funds and technical expertise under project 'India Rhino Vision 2020', which aims to increase rhino population of Assam to 3000 by 2020.

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