He has found his second home. He is none but a nearly three months old male orphan baby of an electrocuted mother elephant from Golaghat district of Assam.
Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC), being the one and only rehabilitation centre for the wildlife orphans in northeast India, is now the new home of the baby after its rescue by the forest team of Golaghat division of Assam.
It is to be mentioned here that an adult mother elephant was electrocuted at Dholagaon in Golaghat district of Assam on 24th October 2021, leaving her offspring alone in the wild. But during a preliminary search the baby was not found near the electrocuted mother.
Locals have said that the baby moved with the herd as there was no show of the baby around. The electrocution of the elephant happened due to the fall of a high voltage wire upon the elephant while the herd was passing through the fields of Dholagaon area under Golaghat district of Assam.
On the fourth consecutive day after the death of the mother elephant, the abandoned baby appeared alone in Miripathar area near Dholagaon (the place of incident) on 28th October 2021, in a debilitated condition due to starvation without mother’s milk and care. The calf was highly stressed for losing her mother’s company in the tragic incident.
The situation led to rescue of the orphan baby by the forest team of Golaghat and it was admitted at Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC), the jointly run wildlife care facility of Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) and Assam Forest Department (AFD) supported by International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).
“During necropsy we were sanguine about the lactating mother. But the baby was missing. Partial input from locals was that the baby had left with the herd. In fact, we advised the forest officials to keep an eye on the baby. Four days later the abandoned baby was seen alone at Miripathar area as it probably could not travel with the herd alone after the death of the mother.” –informed Dr. Samshul Ali, a senior wildlife veterinarian who did the post-mortem of the mother elephant and is now taking care of the orphan baby at CWRC.
Now, 100 hours have passed after the admission of the baby at CWRC. The wildlife caretakers of CWRC are following utmost care for the comfort and stability of the baby jumbo.
Interestingly, the new baby found a friend “Xadiya” of similar age among the small six (6) member elephant family of CWRC.
The vulnerable baby is gradually recovering from his stages of loneliness in presence of other baby elephant calves and among the small elephant family of CWRC.
In the last week three (3) elephants died due to electrocution in different parts of Assam. The number of deaths due to electrocution is increasing and becoming a major cause of concern for elephant conservation in Assam.