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A life devoted to rescuing wild animals
Debasish Baruah
 KAZIRANGA, Oct 18 - This is a story of a person who has completely devoted his time and energy for wildlife in Kaziranga. He is Monoj Gogoi who has been rescuing wild animals in distress especially snakes (both venomous and non venomous) and different species of birds.

 While speaking to this correspondent, Monoj informed that he along with his team members viz., Picko Bordoloi, Papu Choudhury, Hemanta Gogoi and Babu Kesari had rescued more than 2000 wildlife species which included many species of mammals like wild boar, leopard, deer, squirrel and pangolin apart from snakes and avifauna in and around Kaziranga. When pointed out about the status of small mammals in Kaziranga, Monoj said that the Government should give equal emphasis to other small mammals rather then concentrating all its energy on big animals. It may so happen that one day these small mammals which play a significant role in our ecosystem may get extinct without our notice. So proper population status recording of small mammals is very important.

Around three months back, Monoj had rescued two woolly-necked storks at a hotel complex in Kaziranga and hand reared them at his place for two months. He feed them fish arranged by himself by catching with net. Now though released in the wild about a month back, these two woolly-necked storks often visit Monoj's place and then return to the jungle. Similarly, Monoj had come across four white-throated kingfishers. They were handed over to him by a local villager. He reared those tiny baby kingfishers like a mother feeding them with great difficulty. It took about 45 days for those birds to attain some kind of maturity. Monoj released them in the wild forests of Kaziranga. But the interesting part is whenever Monoj calls out to them, those four white-throated kingfishers rush back to him to be fed with fish.

When asked about his future plans, Monoj replied that his next objective was to create awareness among small children about nature and wildlife, adding that many school going children haven’t seen rhinos in the wild though they all were born and brought up in and around Kaziranga. Monoj can identify many venomous snakes like King Cobra, Monocled Cobra, Banded Krait, Pit Viper and has rescued them from time to time. He has even reared some snakes at his place in Kaziranga, which will be released in the wild in due time.

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