Back in October of 2007, Tinku was rescued by staff from the Assam Forest Department after he fell into a tea garden drain. Tinku was a two-month-old calf when he arrived at the International Fund for Animal Welfare(IFAW) Wildlife Rescue Center in Kaziranga.
Our dedicated staff at the center bottle-fed Tinku, provided daily veterinary care and looked after his every need for over three years before he, and four other elephant calves, were moved to Manas National Park in February of 2011 and released back to the wild. With this new sighting, we know that Tinku has survived over 750 days in the wild. Back in early January we briefly sighted Tinku with another rehabilitated calf, Sikom. This time he was sighted alone.
Better news still, the calf was quite “aggressive towards the team and in fact moved away from the team in the southern direction,” according to Anjan. He believes Tinku could have been with a wild herd, as there was one very close by (about 50 meters from where he was).
The field team observed Tinku’s behaviour for a while, took some photos and GPS coordinates, and ended the day’s monitoring efforts once it started getting dark. This last phase of rehabilitation is likely the most challenging one. After several years of human-assisted care, Tinku is now left to its own devices to integrate a wild herd. From the sidelines we watch, we document, we learn and we celebrate these valuable milestones.