The Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation is a well-known name in the field of wildlife rescue and rehabilitation in India. CWRC was established in Panbari near Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve of Assam on 28th August, 2002 to provide emergency care, treatment and rehabilitation to indigenous wild animals that are displaced due to various reasons. CWRC is a joint initiative of Assam Forest Department, Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) & International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW). It is the only facility of its kind in India to have successfully addressed the welfare and conservation of species like elephants, leopards, rhinos, tiger, clouded leopards, black bears, wild buffalos and many others. Since its inception, CWRC has handled 7397 animals out of which 4490 (65%) could be sent back to the wild after proper care and treatment at CWRC. During this time, CWRC has handled a whopping 357 species at the facility.
Today, on 28th of August, 2022, CWRC has completed the two-decade-long journey of its service to the wildlife of Assam and beyond. Currently, CWRC has two satellite facilities called Mobile Veterinary Services (MVS). These are located in Eastern Assam at Guijan, Tinsukua (Dibru Saikhowa National Park) and Western Assam at Charaikhola, Chakrasila WLS.
M.K. Yadava IFS, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest and HoFF and Chief Wildlife Warden, Assam congratulated the team CWRC for its excellent service to the state of Assam for last twenty years. He said “CWRC has become a model now in the field of wildlife conservation and its needs in Assam. With the dedicated service of the team CWRC, we could save many injured, orphaned and marooned animals, especially during the flood in Kaziranga. I wish the partnership of Assam Forest Department and Wildlife Trust India would grow stronger to serve the wildlife of Assam in all the coming years.”
CWRC has been rehabilitating rescued rhino and elephant calves in Asasm. In the year 2006, the first rhino calf was rehabilitated in Manas National Park and thus the park got its rhino back after the entire population was killed in the late 90s and early 2000. As of date, 21 rhino calves have been rehabilitated in Manas National Park from CWRC and 11 calves have been born to these rehabilitated rhinos in Manas. The rhino rehabilitation component of the CWRC has thus proved to be one of the most successful orphan animal rehabilitation attempts of CWRC and has been a critical conservation success. Elephant calves have been rescued under various circumstances in Assam and later sent to CWRC for further care and rehabilitation. So far 29 rescued elephant calves have been shifted to Manas National Park for rehabilitation. Out of which, 12 elephant calves (41%) could be sent back to the wild. CWRC also rehabilitated rescued Asiatic Black Bear cubs in the past. The successful rehabilitation of rescued Clouded leopard cubs by CWRC, which was the first of its kind in the world, was one of the most talked about rehabilitation elements.
Vivek Menon, Founder and Executive Director of Wildlife Trust of India, who was instrumental in establishing this pioneering centre said “The centre has shown how civil society (WTI and IFAW) and governments can work together to bring top science and rehabilitation methods to Indi and successfully address conservation as well as welfare needs of wildlife. WTI is committed to continue upgrading CWRC as a Centre of Excellence in the field of wildlife conservation in India. “
Azzedine Downes, President and CEO, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) said “IFAW has been a proud and trusted partner to CWRC for 20 years. Together we have rescued, rehabilitated and released many animals and provided them with a safe home through WTI and the Assam Forest Department’s conservation work. Each time I visit CWRC, I am thrilled to the see the work taking place there. I congratulate the team for their excellent animal rescue work and look forward to many more years of impactful collaboration.”
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Prince William and Kate Middleton visited CWRC in 2016 and spent some wonderful time with the team CWRC at Panbari, Bokakhat, Assam.
Mr. Jatindra Sarma, Director, Kaziranga national park and Tiger reserve, who is also the Project leader of CWRC said “I am very happy to know that CWRC has been in service for the wildlife of Assam for the past 20 long years. We are very grateful to Wildlife Trust of India and team CWRC for their selfless service to save the injured distressed animals in Kaziranga