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Orphaned Rhino Calf Flourishing in a New Enclosure in India

A 2-month-old orphaned rhino calf rescued by conservationists in April is thriving in a new enclosure in Manas National Park in India.

Poachers gunned down the calf’s mother—translocated Rhino 17—on April 2 and cut off her horn. A team of frontline staff from WWF, Wildlife Trust of India and the park found and rescued the calf. The calf was rehydrated and kept under the close watch of veterinarians.

At the end of April, the calf moved to a special 120-square-foot enclosure where it is hand fed eight times daily by dedicated keepers, who are under the supervision of rehabilitation experts, veterinarians, park officials and members of WWF-India’s rhino team. The Assam Forest Department plans to bring into the enclosure another rescued calf from a center in Kaziranga National Park so the two similarly aged calves can keep each other company.

“We are happy that the rhino calf is doing well. The calf is a symbol of hope now for the rhinos of Manas and we will do our utmost to ensure that it survives to adulthood and can eventually be released from its enclosure to join the free ranging ones in the park,” said Mr. Suresh Chand (IFS), PCCF (Wildlife) and Chief Wildlife Warden of Assam.

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  • Rhino calf in enclosure

    The orphaned rhino calf inside a new enclosure.

  • Rhino calf in watering hole

    The rhino calf takes a dip in a watering hole inside the enclosure.

  • Orphaned rhino enclosure in India

    A view of the rhino calf's enclosure.

  • The rhino calf shortly after the rescue.

  • Rhino 17 and her calf before the new mother was killed.

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