Posts Tagged With: Assam

Equal Opportunity Genocide

Thai poaching  ring-leader Chumlong Lemtongthai

Thai poaching leader-Chumlong Lemtongth

Dawie Groenewald, Sariette Groenewald

Dawie & Sariette Groenewald, convicted rhino poachers from South Africa.

rhino with US flag

American trophy hunters.

Kenyan poachers

Kenyan poachers set to appear in Nairobi court.

Russian trophy hunter

Russian trophy hunter Rashid Sardarov.

Our rhinos are dying. In Kenya and Sumatra, in Zimbabwe and Assam…killed by poachers, by trophy hunters…from Thailand, South Africa, America, Kenya, Russia, and yes…China.

It is a fact that China and Vietnam are the driving force, the demand for our rhinos’ horn. The frustration of this can become overwhelming at times, I admittedly find myself thinking…”China again?!”.  But it’s easy to confuse China for the Chinese, a.k.a. the forest for the trees. Not All Chinese use rhino horn any more than All Americans are trophy hunters.

Racism and bias are intolerable. There is no time or space for this in the fight to save our rhinos. We must set aside our differences, ignore our borders, and unite to save them. For just as many people globally who seek to destroy them, there are just as many of us across the planet who fight to protect them.

Remember-we’re in this together.

 

 

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Caution: Wide Load

What does it take to move a 1-2 ton animal?

Conservation efforts often mean translocation. It is sometimes in the best interest of re-population and survival to move animals into better locations. For example in Assam, India, the India Rhino Vision 2020 program aims to attain a wildlife population of at least 3,000 greater one-horned rhinos in the state of Assam by the year 2020.  This goal will be achieved by translocating rhinos from areas of high population density to new habitats, where effective protection programs can be put in place.translocating sedation

Each situation is different, varying in length of travel time to number of rhino, but the usual mode of operation consists of:
*sedating them with the help of a veterinary crew,rhinos into truck
*moving them into position onto a truck,
*driving to said location, then off loading them into a temporarily built boma (enclosure) in the new location;
*followed up with waking them, and careful monitoring of their health thereafter.translocation boma

Logistics, practical preparations, bureaucracy, transport and funding have to run simultaneously with preparation of the rhino to undertake the journey. It is a huge and delicate undertaking, and can take considerable time to put together.

Then there is the health of the animal to consider. Whenever any animal is sedated there is a health risk from the anesthetic, there is possibility of injury in transport, and the stress alone is a danger. Rhinos have died from the move.

Of course there have been less than typical moves as well.  In 2009 three black rhinos were moved from a Czech Republic Zoo to a Mkomazi sanctuary. It took 2 years of planning and a  Martinair 747 aircraft to make the 6,400 mile move.

flying rhino 2Perhaps one of the most misunderstood photos: the’ flying rhinos’, is yet another method the WWF has  taken in moving the second largest land mammal. The tranquilized  rhinos are suspended from their ankles for a short journey by helicopter to an awaiting vehicle. This is a quick and efficent way to remove them from inaccessible areas.

Any way it needs to be done-desperate times call for desperate measures. After all, there are only so many ways to move a 1-2 ton animal.

Categories: Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Making History for Elephants

Since the beginning of mankind, animals have had to make way for people. We come in, build, take over, and run them off their land.  But for the first time in known history, people are moving for animals.

indiaIn Assam India, an entire village is relocating to make room for the Asian Elephants. The Ran Terang village is situated in the direct corridor connecting the Nambor-Doigrung Wildlife sanctuary to the Kaziranga National Park. This “highway” is the lifeline for approximately 2,000 threatened pachyderms. By moving the village, there will be no human  interference allowing the elephants to move freely, as well as making way for other threatened species such as the tigers.

Convincing the village to move has not been easy, but the people will also benefit. In addition to not worrying about the elephants destroying their paddy crops now, the 19 families are being set up with water and electricity in their new homes. The new area will be turned into a model ethnic Karbi village, with the potential to be turned into a tourist destination.

“The Karbi people will create history in the field of environmental conservation by karbi village relocatesthis unique gesture. We have to learn to live with the animals and I’m proud that the Karbis are showing the way to the world,” says Recho Harsing Ronghang, the 40th king of the Karbi Anglong.

The constant demand for land to set up rubber and tea plantations has resulted in deforestation, and in turn  habitat fragmentation in the area. This coupled with growing human population is hurting the threatened species in the area.

Considering that one-fifth of the Asian elephant population resides here in Assam, this is a crucial move.asian elephant herd

The Wildlife Trust of India is behind the move. WTI’s Dilip Deori said “the village was totally supportive in the project and are helping us in every way possible.”  There are eight other corridors in Assam that could benefit from relocation as well, a huge undertaking, yet as the Karbi people have shown, completely possible.

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