I organized a fringe area livestock vaccination and camp elephant treatment camp for 3 days in Orang National Park, from 29th of April till 1st of May, 2017. Nine of my colleagues, PG students and internees accompanied me to render their services in the camp. We visited door to door in the evenings and early mornings to vaccinate the livestock: cattle and buffaloes and covered as many as five villages on the northern fringe of the park. These animals have potential to spread diseases to the wildlife of the park, so it is necessary to immunize them against the infectious diseases that also affect wild hoovestock. We vaccinated them against Haemorrhagic septicaemia (HS) and Black quarter (BQ), two dreaded bacterial diseases, that cause huge economic loss to the poor farmers, which may lead some of them to look towards the park for sustenance: firewood, and in worst case scenario, connive with poachers.
During the daytime, on 30th April and 1st of May I conducted the routine health checkup camps for the camp elephants of the park. On 30th we held two camps; one at the Range office premises and the other at Nichlamari in which 5 and 12 elephants were presented for examination and treatment. Second day a mega camp was organized at Saat simalu where some 20 elephants were presented. We carried out fecal examination of all the elephants on the spot and collected venous blood samples for haematological, biochemical and blood parasitic examinations back in my institutions. All the elephants received anthelmintic medication as per findings of the stool examination, vaccination against HS and BQ, Restorative supports like Vit-Min mixtures, B-Complex and inorganic phosphorus supplimentations. Two tuskers namely Arjun and Chakraddhaj were sedated for trimming of their convergent tusks that were causing impediments in freeing their trunks. The feet of all the animals were examined closely and pedicure provided when necessary.
Another objective of the camp was to provide hands on training to the new generation of vets that appeared to have motivated for wildlife healthcare. It was a successful program.
The Laokhow-Burhachapori camp was a grand success. We vaccinated nearly 3000 livestock against dreaded bacterial diseases namely Haemorrghagic septicaemia and Black quarter. These diseases can potentially spread to precious wild animals with whom they share the grazing fields. The two camp elephants Vikram and Jontora were also attended,clinically examined, vaccine administered and dewormed appropriately.
Wild Lives: Leading Conservationists on The Animals and the Planet They Love is a new book featuring a chapter about Dr. Sarma and his work with Asian elephants.
See the details here:
One of Dr. Sarma’s interests is the health and welfare of temple elephants throughout India. Here we see KK receiving a blessing from an elephant in Jaipur.
Manas National Park in the northern Assam bordering Bhutan is a 500 square KM pristine forest, is a world Heritage site and is famous for its magnificent biodiversity. The forest changes from dry-deciduous to moist-evergreen in a span of just 20 km is the home to all charismatic big-5: Elephant, Great Indian one horned Rhino, Bengal tiger, Wild buffalo and gaur, besides Himalayan Black bear, Sambar, eastern swamp deer, sheetal, hog deer, dhole, pigmy hog, leopard, golden langoor, Bengal florican, horn beel and many other. There are at present 43 camp elephants patrolling this precious park from poachers. They are spread over three ranges, namely Bhuyanpara, Bansbari and Panbari. The camp elephants have their share of problems including medical problems like parasitism, infectious diseases and injuries.
I have over 35 years of contact with this park, I used my experiences of anaesthetic management of the camp elephants of this park for my PhD dissertation. I have seen rare diseases like tetanus, rabies and cobboldiasis in this camp besides routine parasitic infestations, dental pulp injuries, farra gall and foot affections. From last year the park has witnessed death of young elephant caves (wild) suspected to be EEHV (elephant endotheliotropic herpes virus) infections. For all these reasons I organize pre-emptive health camps for the camp elephants at least 4 times a year; where every elephant is individually examined and appropriate remedial and/or preventive medications administered. We vaccinated all 42 elephants on 24-25th of March, 2017 against dreaded rabies, dewormed as per their parasitic load, foot care administered and trained the handlers on the pedicure techniques and vit-mineral mixture distributed. Blood and urine samples of the elephants were collected for laboratory examinations for preparation of database and/or appropriate remedies.
– KK Sarma
Dr. K.K. Sarma visited Orang National Park in Assam, India in October of 2015 to provide preventive veterinary care for the park’s team of captive elephants. De-worming medication, health checks, and nutritional supplements and vaccinations were provided. In addition to ongoing veterinary support, these elephants have access to plentiful natural forage, clean water, and great care from committed mahouts. The recipients of Dr. Sarma’s treatment included these twins, one of only three known pairs. Over thirty elephants were treated, including a newborn calf.