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SOS Rhino : In the News : Abandoned rhino calf gets new home in northeastern India

Abandoned rhino calf gets new home in northeastern India

  The Star online

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

GAUHATI, India (AP) - Sister, a 44-month-old rare one-horned rhino calf, separated from her mother by flooding in northeastern India, has been given a new home, wildlife officials said Tuesday. 

Sister completed a 450-kilometer (280 -miles) journey overnight by truck from the Kaziranga National Park, in the eastern state of Assam to the Manas National Park, which straddles the India-Bhutan border, said N.K. Vasu, the director of the Kaziranga. 

The move is part of a plan to create new habitats for the endangered one-horned rhino, the largest of Asia's Rhinoceroses. 

Currently, Kaziranga reserve has an estimated 1,600 of the animals out of the total global population of some 2,400. 

"Kaziranga has become too overcrowded with rhinos. Therefore, under the Vision Rhino 2020 program, the authorities have decided to relocate some of these animals to other suitable habitats,'' said Vasu. 

The relocation plan is aimed at increasing the rhino population in Assam to 3,000 by 2020. 

Sister was separated from her mother during high floods that submerged the Kaziranga Park in 2001. It was rescued and raised at the Center for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation, located nearby. 

"We have made a special enclosure for the new rhino calf protected by solar-powered fence to keep predators at bay,'' Pradyut Bordoloi, Assam's Forest and Environment Minister, said.-AP

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