By- Staff Correspondent | Date- August 27, 2012
Saving 1600 hundred animals and 166 endangered species comprising of Elephant calf injured in conflict with people, rhino orphaned by poachers, a full grown tiger in a well or a leopard in a house, CWRC (Center of Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation) celebrates its 10th anniversary tomorrow.
Situated near Kaziranga National Park – a UNESCO World Heritage Site (WHS) in the northeast Indian state of Assam, CWRC was launched this day in 2002 by the Assam Forest Department and the International Fund for Animal Welfare – Wildlife Trust of India (IFAW-WTI). Since then it had pioneered hand-raising and rehabilitation of numerous species of wild animals in India including that of the clouded leopards, rhinos, elephants, bears and even birds like the greater adjutant storks and India’s only apes -the Hoolock gibbons.
CWRC addresses cases of wild animals in distress affected by natural floods and man-made conflicts. Suresh Chand, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife) and Chief wildlife warden, Assam forest department said, “Assam has set numerous exemplary wildlife conservation and welfare milestones for the entire country to follow, and this centre is one of those – our pride”. Sanjib Kumar Bora, Field Director, Kaziranga NP and Project Leader, CWRC said, “CWRC saved almost 100 animals in the recent devastating floods in Kaziranga while utilizing satellite Mobile Veterinary Service (MVS) units that attended to nearly 3000 animals in distress across northeast India”.
Ian Robinson, Director IFAW Animal rescue said, “The IFAW Wildlife Rescue Centre has achieved pioneering work in the rehabilitation of endangered wildlife, including the returning of the first orphan Asian elephants to the wild and the first release of hand-reared clouded leopards”. But the most significant achievements of CWRC include reintroduction of rhinos to Manas National Park – a UNESCO WHS that had lost its entire rhino population to poachers. Orphaned rhino calves hand-raised at CWRC were moved to the wild in Manas in 2006.
CWRC has also provided opportunities to aspiring wildlife veterinarians from India and abroad to hone their skills in wild animal welfare and treatment. A number of veterinarians have been trained at CWRC, working as volunteers, interns or even as staff members.