Two hand-raised Asian Wild buffaloes from the IFAW-WTI-run Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC) were today released in the Burhachapori Wildlife Sanctuary in Assam.
Agora, a male buffalo and Gerakati, a female were rescued under different circumstances from the Kaziranga National Park (KNP) when they were about a month old, said Wildlife Trust of India, Assistant Manager, Awareness for Conservation, Subhamoy Bhattacharjee.
Agora's mother was found dead in December 2012, while Gerakati was separated from its mother in September that year, Bhattacharjee said.
After rescue, both were placed at the CWRC near KNP for further care and treatment, he said.
The release site was selected after a joint survey by CWRC IFAW-WTI team and Assam Forest department led by P Sivakumar, Conservator of Forest in charge of the Sanctuary.
"We welcome this wild buffalo rehabilitation effort of CWRC at Burhachapori WLS. This will boost our continuous effort to repopulate Burhachapori WLS with important wildlife," said Sivkumar, who is also in charge of Burhachapori WLS.
For the first few weeks after their release, the duo would be kept in a temporary enclosure for adaptation in the new landscape, Bhattacharjee said.
As and when they adapt to their new surroundings, they would be released in the sanctuary with the IFAW-WTI team biologist along with the Assam Forest Department monitoring them for a stipulated time.
The CWRC, the first rescue and rehabilitation centre near a protected area, was strategically located at Borjuri village, adjacent to the Panbari Reserve Forest, near KNP.
The centre attends to a wide range of wildlife emergencies resulting from natural or anthropogenic causes.
The CWRC was established in August 2002 with a primary aim to stabilise displaced animals and release them back into the wild as close to the site of rescue as possible following necessary treatment.
The centre follows accepted international protocols and guidelines during rescue, treatment and rehabilitation of displaced or distressed animals, Bhattacharjee added.