Have you ever wondered what’s involved in rehabilitating young elephants, rhinos and other wildlife?
If so, you won’t want to miss a brand new two-part TV special presented by Paul O’Grady which will feature some of the rescued animals being cared for at the International Fund for Animal Welfare’s [IFAW] Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC) in north-eastern India.
The centre, which IFAW supports in partnership with the Wildlife Trust for India (WTI), is the only facility in India where orphaned or injured wild animals are hand-raised and treated and subsequently returned to the wild.
The show, ‘Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Animals – India’, will be broadcast tomorrow evening (Tuesday 25 April) at 9pm on ITV, with the second episode at the same time next week (2 May). Scroll down to watch the trailer.
If you can’t watch tomorrow, both episodes will be available on the ITV Hub for 30 days after broadcast.
Since it was launched in 2002, the centre has handled close to 4,500 animal cases, with an impressive 60% success rate in releasing back to the wild. CWRC regularly takes in orphaned, injured or abandoned Indian greater one-horned rhino and elephant calves, as well as other wildlife such as gibbons, jungle cats, Asiatic black bear cubs and snakes.
Elephants come to the centre for a variety of reasons; including human/animal conflict, decreased habitat, dislocation and separation from their herd due to regular flooding in Kaziranga National Park and falling into drainage ditches in the area’s many tea plantations.
Paul O’Grady was able to spend time with young elephants at various stages of rehabilitation, observing and assisting with their daily care. He also met some of the rhino calves pulled from floodwaters caused by Kaziranga’s worst monsoon in decades last year.
The film crew traveled to Manas National Park where many rhinos rehabilitated at CWRC have been released back into the wild. Some of these rhinos have gone on to successfully breed at Manas and are helping repopulate the park whose rhino population had previously been completely wiped out by poaching during years of civil unrest. One of the programs will feature the release of a rescued clouded leopard.
Having been fortunate enough to visit CWRC and Manas and witness for myself the inspiring and vital work being carried out by our dedicated wildlife rescue staff caring for vulnerable animals day in and day out, I can recommend that you tune in to see for yourself!
Words by Clare Sterling
The first episode Paul O’ Grady: For the Love of Animals – India is on ITV1 on Tuesday 25 April at 9pm. The second part airs on Tuesday 2 May at 9pm.
IFAW is a client of Gay Star News.