Manas invites Bhutan envoys
Guwahati, Dec. 29: When two civil administration officials from Bhutan came to take a look at the two female rhinos in Manas National Park today, it was clear that the neighbouring country also has a role to play in wildlife conservation.
Wildlife knows no boundaries. As both the parks are contiguous, wildlife often crosses boundaries and then it becomes the duty of the country concerned to take care of them.
“Royal Manas National Park shares its boundary with Manas National Park and the former has a role to play in wildlife conservation. They have to act responsibly also,” A. Swargowari, field director, Manas National Park, told The Telegraph.
Both the parks have already started working on transboundary conservation and, in fact, the first pictures of wildlife in Manas is a result of this project.
The officials had come from Panbang, which is a small town in Bhutan under Zhemgang district, on an invitation from Manas National Park to be a witness to the arrival of two rhinos from Pobitora.
With the addition of these two rhinos, the number of rhinos in Manas has now risen to seven. Of the seven, four are from Pobitora. The increase in the number of rhinos also means that the national park will now have to strengthen its infrastructure. This was a way to refurbish the national park, as its entire rhino population was wiped out during the insurgency by Bodo militants in the 1990s.
Both the rhinos came in a truck from Pobitora under security and reached Bansbari range of Manas National Park around 5.30am today. They were released in the Buraburijhar area in Bansbari around 7.30am. Assam chief secretary N.K. Das was on a visit to the park.
The rhinos have been released by a specially trained team and will be observed very closely for the next few hours. The team comprised C.R. Bhobora, deputy director of Manas Tiger Reserve, Kushal Sarma of College of Veterinary Sciences and M.L. Smith of Assam State Zoo.
The animals have been fitted with radio collars and will be monitored continuously for the next year by the staff of Manas National Park with support from members of WWF India. The monitoring team led by Deba Dutta of WWF India will be responsible for monitoring the released rhinos and will maintain a daily record. They will provide regular updates and will work under the supervision and guidance of the translocation core committee. After six months, a monitoring report will be submitted to the translocation core committee.