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Understanding rewilding: Bringing back the wild and the free8 min read

July 23, 2021 5 min read


Understanding rewilding: Bringing back the wild and the free8 min read

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Part 2 of this story is available. Click on the next page at the bottom of this article.

Some kind humans have been preoccupied trying to preserve the species we have lost. Remember the rhinos, Najin and Fatu? This time, Owliver brings to you another attempt with the similar goal but a varied method: Rewilding.
Stick around to know more.

These thirteen elephants will travel 7,000 kilometres to Kenya all the way from England in individual cages with a team of veterinarians with them. Twelve of these elephants were raised in Kent, and one was born in Israel. They have never lived in the wild!

This will be the first time that elephants are being rewilded.

Rewilding is a process of restoring natural ecosystems. It also includes reintroduction of wild animals into the original habits. 21 years ago, a group of wolves was reintroduced to Yellowstone to restore the original ecosystem of the place (Read: Scotland to become the world’s first rewilding nation).

It’s like growing up as an Indian outside the country and finally returning to India Whether you have lived here yourself or not does not matter. What matters is where your lineage is from.

Three members of the group are calves. Image: CNN

The project is a joint endeavour of The Aspinall Foundation, the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, and the Kenya Wildlife Service. The organisations believe that this massive attempt will discourage the global trade of elephants.

The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust has been creating happy spaces for these gentle giants to grow, and wishes to offer the same experience to the incoming elephants:

We look forward to offering that same opportunity to these 13 elephants when they set foot on African soil — home, where they belong, and able to live wild and free as nature intended.

Angela Sheldrick, CEO of the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, CNN

Something similar seems to be happening in India, too! And this special is dedicated to understanding this tedious but promising process.

What do you think an animal needs for sustenance?
Maybe that will help us understand rewilding.

If you find yourself answering that question, you have fallen right into the trap. Well, that was a trick question. Apart from the basic discussion on food, water, shelter, and oxygen, every animal is unique and has its own needs. This is also what complicates rewilding which must be more than about increasing numbers of species.

Let’s look at the rewilding attempts in India under a microscope to understand both the process, and its success.

Rewilding India

In June, twelve pygmy hogs that grew in captivity have been rewilded in Manas National Park of Assam. They have returned home to a land where some members of their species still survive but in diminishing numbers.

While these attempts are considered significant and necessary, rewilding requires a lot of thought.

Cheetahs have been extinct in India for more than seventy years! But a new rehabilitation program has been announced to bring them back. Eight big cats from South Africa will be brought all the way to the Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh. This could very well make the area the country’s first ever cheetah sanctuary!
Most recently, the attempt to rewild a nine-moth old tiger cub, Managala, into the Periyar Tiger Reserve has also brought the subject to the forefront.

While these attempts are considered significant and necessary, rewilding requires a lot of thought.

Why are there debates around something that seems so far so good?
Pause, think and flip to page 2 to know more.

Click on the ‘2’ below for the second part of this story

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