By DR VINAY
The wild blinded gaur which was captured and relocated from Sagar to Shivamogga in Karnataka is doing very well.
This is the first time that a relocated wild gaur has survived in the state as previous attempts have not been successful.
On April 28th, an adult male gaur was found lying in a deep pit in Survey No: 107 of Brahmana Manchale in Bommatti village, Sagar taluk. It had sustained bilateral trauma in both its eyes. Also, it was severely dehydrated and stressed out.
It had sustained these injuries in a fight with another bull in the last 8-10 days. Suitable treatment was administered including antibiotics, pain management, fluid therapy and dressing of its wounds.
After sedation, the captured gaur was successfully revived. The same night, it consumed water, feed and also moved from its location about 500 metres away.
However, it was decided not to release the gaur back into the forest as it was completely blinded, not in a position to forage for food and water.
So, it was relocated to the Tyavarekoppa Tiger and Lion Safari in Shivamogga for further treatment and management.
Both the eyes of the Gaur were affected as also injured on the right lateral region of the abdomen. The Gaur was sedated after physically examination on lateral recumbency (when an animal is unable to rise from its sides).
A proper line of treatment was provided after observing the dehydrated condition, trauma at lower right eye lid region with swollen and protuberance of eye and absence of eye ball in left eye. There was a deep lacerated wound on left side of the abdomen.
Further, it had been lying on recumbency for more than 4-5 hours before our arrival at the spot.
However, the animal was revived after complete treatment but during its recovery period, it suddenly got up and started to move towards us.
I was seriously injured and was taken to the government hospital for first line of treatment at 8 pm. It was a narrow escape that night for me at 7.30 pm.
After successful treatment of this animal on the first day, it began to move away and sustained on its own.
In my health report to the Sagar DCF, I recommended the shifting of the animal to a nearby rescue centre or zoo as it was completely blind and the chances of its recurrence in human habitat was more and further, it needed medical treatment and management.
(DR VINAY IS THE CHIEF VETERINARY OFFICER AT SHIVAMOGGA WILDLIFE DIVISION)