GUWAHATI, Jan 3: Reaffirming its unrelenting commitment towards the conservation of wildlife and habitats, the region’s premier biodiversity conservation organisation, Aaranyak, in association with the International Rhino Foundation (IRF), on Wednesday gifted 200 sweaters, 200 woollen caps, and four life jackets to Nagaon Wildlife Division for use by frontline Forest Department staff deployed in Laokhowa-Burhachapori Wildlife Sanctuary (LBWLS).
The field gear was handed over in a function held in the wildlife sanctuary to the divisional forest officer of Nagaon Wildlife Division, Jayanta Deka, by the secretary-general and CEO of Aaranyak, Bibhab Kumar Talukdar, who is also the senior advisor of IRF for Asian Rhinos.
The event was graced by the two forest range officers of Laokhowa-Burhachapori WLS, Aaranyak’s Executive Committee member and renowned conservationist Kaushik Barua, Anupam Sharma of WWF, local wildlife enthusiast associated with IRV 2020 Dr Samarjit Ojha, Dilwar Hussain, a wildlife lover associated with LBWLS.
These field gears will be very handy for the frontline forest staff during the winter season in their efforts for the protection of wildlife in Laokhowa-Burhachapori sanctuary, including two stray one-horned rhinos that are now roaming around in the wildlife sanctuary. It was recently cleared of encroachers in a massive eviction drive carried out by the Forest Department with support from the district administration.
A public meeting preceded the distribution of these field equipment. The meeting, attended by the additional deputy commissioner, prominent local residents, villagers, forest department officials and staff, including the DFO Jayanta Deka, two range officers, Aaranyak representatives Dr Bibhab Kumar Talukdar and Kaushik Barua, Anupal Sharma of WWF, Dr Samarjit Ojha, Dilwar Hussain. The objective of the meeting was to mobilise public support for the proposed translocation of one-horned rhinos to Laokhowa-Burhachapori WLS.
“It was heartening to see local people hailing the ongoing efforts to bring back one-horned rhinos to Laokhowa-Burhachapori WLS,” said Dr Talukdar.