Photo courtesy: Athinut Traiamoruvimarn AVI ICS MoAF
The Jigme Dorji National Park (JDNP) officials under the Department of Forests and Park Services (DoFPS) rescued Dawala, a two-month old Takin calf last Saturday from Tshachu area in Gasa. The rescued calf was brought to the Takin preserve in Motithang and is being tended to by the experts to ensure proper upbringing. According to JDNP Park Manager, Phuntsho Thinley, the calf was found abandoned when they visited the Gasa hot spring for a field inspection of the on-going guest house construction. “The calf had crossed the Mochhu and was found straying in the hot spring area,” said the Park Manager adding that they looked for his mother and other herds nearby but “we could not find any.” He assumed that the calf might have got displaced when the herd started fleeing coming from a predator’s attack. The rescued calf after a night at JDNP office was translocated to the Motithang Takin Preserve. “When we first found him, he was weak and dehydrated. We fed him imported milk,” said Phuntsho Thinley. After his arrival at the preserve last Sunday, the Wildlife Conservation Division of DoFPS devoted extra effort to ensure his survival. Kunzang Gyeltshen of Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre (WRRC) said that the calf is being fed with boiled cow’s milk mixed with water. “Concentrated milk might result in diarrhea. Hence, we feed him a solution of three-fourths milk and one-fourth water.” The 250 – 300 ml solution is fed to the calf every three hours. Officials are keeping close vigil on his health. Tending to the ticks in the body by applying flumectrin solution which supposedly is only a small problem, WRRC’s Kunzang Gyeltshen measured Dawala’s body temperature at 38.4 degree Celsius. “Such readings enable us to detect any abnormality if any and act upon it with appropriate medication.” Officials said that except for the stunting, which may result because the baby Takin might have missed colostrums, Dawala is sound and healthy. His live weight reads 20 kgs and he measures 2 feet 8 inches from the muzzle to tail while he is 1 foot 7inches tall. His chest girth measures 1foot inches. WCD’s Chief Forestry Officer Sonam Wangchuk said that when Dawala is ready, he’ll be released back into the wild. “I’ve instructed the dealing officials to ensure that Dawala does not become too domesticated.” He also said that 25 of such wildlife species have been released back to forests as of last year. Established in 1979, Motithang Takin preserve today is a ‘safe haven’ for 17 Takins – 10 males and seven females. Other wildlife species that are currently housed at the preserve are 11 Sambhars, two barking deer and one Goral. The preserve spans an area of 19.23 acres. However, officials also cited the lack of proper wildlife rehabilitation centre with required equipment as one of the hurdles in wildlife conservation. “The Motithang preserve is meant for only Takins but we’d to squeeze in other wild animals too. As per JDNP Park manager, at this time of the year, Takins are migrating to the north towards their summer habitat at Tsharijathang from their winter habitat in the lower altitudes.