The wild buffalo with visible corneal opacity before it was chemically immobilised by the CWRC MVS team
Sonitpur West Forest Division, Assam, March 13, 2017: A wild buffalo that had been treated last month by a Mobile Veterinary Service (MVS) team from CWRC (the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation; IFAW-WTI and the Assam Forest Department’s wildlife rescue, treatment and rehabilitation facility near Kaziranga National Park) is showing signs of improvement, an observation team of the forest department has reported.
The wild buffalo had been found in a seemingly disoriented state at Arimora in Tezpur in the first week of February. Having determined that it was suffering from bilateral corneal opacity, the MVS team led by veterinarian Dr Samshul chemically restrained it and provided in situ sub-conjunctival treatment on February 7.
Frontline personnel of the Sonitpur West Forest Division have kept the animal under post-operative observation with Dr Ali’s guidance since then. Last week, the observation team led by Assistant Conservator of Forests Jasim Ahmed and wildlife photojournalist Saurav Borkotoki reported that it seemed to have regained strength and alertness and that it was no longer possible to approach it, which is a good sign that its vision has improved.
“We were hopeful that the wild buffalo would regain its vision and reflexes, having provided the appropriate treatment last month”, said Dr Ali. “Reports from the field indicate that this is indeed the case and we believe that the animal should now be able to live out a natural life in the wild.”
Dr Samshul Ali providing in situ treatment to the wild buffalo
IFAW-WTI wishes to acknowledge Hiranya Kumar Nath and Hemanta Nath, both local volunteers from the Lohia Chapori area of the Sonitpur West Forest Division, for their assistance to the MVS team during the wild buffalo’s treatment last month.