|Four Pobitora rhinos for Manas|
BARPETA Dec 27 – The world famous Manas National Park cum Tiger Project is soon going to add another feather to its cap when four more rhinos would be brought to the park on December 29. According to official sources a team of experts has already moved to the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary from where the rhinos would be translocated.
According to information available a team of fourteen forest personnel had undergone training at Pobitora early this month as a prelude to the translocation process .
It is worth mentioning here that translocation of rhinos was undertaken as part of the Indian Rhino Vision (IRV) 2020 which aims at increasing rhino population to 3000 by the year 2020. IRV 2020 is a joint venture of forest department of the state, US Fish and Wildlife Society, International Rhino Foundation, W W F and BTAD (in case of Manas National Park only).
As part of the initiative two male rhinos were translocated to Manas way back on April 12, 2008 and the second batch was scheduled to be brought in November- December that year. But due to some unavoidable circumstances it could not be done on schedule. Infrastructural problem and unavailabity of tranquiliser to be executed on the wild animals were the main causes behind the inordinate delay.
With the addition of these four rhinos the total number of this animal in the park will rise to nine. Apart from the two translocated rhinos in 2008 there are three rehabilitated rhinos in the park. All the four new guests to arrive in the park will be of the fair sex keeping in mind the gender equality in the park.
Manas, once the home to the endangered one-horned rhino saw its annihilation during the turbulent Bodo movement and from 2001 there was no trace of this animal until the rehabilitation and translocation three years back. It is expected that with the successful translocation the rhino population will make the park and the State proud as poaching has come down substantially with the involvement of the fringe villagers, NGOs, positive attitude to work of the employees and effective measures by the BTAD authority.
Manas National Park cum Tiger Project will remain closed for visitors on December 29 next due to the trnslocation of rhinos to this park. This was informed by an official of the park. As most of the park staff would have to be busy with the translocation process, providing security to visitors will not be possible that day and hence it has been decided to keep the park closed on that day.