Philip Dev - one year old
It has been a year since Philip Dev was admitted to CWRC for long-term care and rehabilitation and it brings me great pleasure to update you on his progress through the last few months. But first, let me take this opportunity to be thankful for the presence of this little soul and his quirky ways and also to thank all the wonderful people who have repeatedly gone out of their way to help this little soul and others like him. I’d like to extend a special thank you to all the veterinarians and keepers involved in Philip’s care and a big thank you to You for your extensive generosity and goodwill. We couldn’t have done it without you!
Philip has today crossed 13 months of age and is the oldest of the group of the little calves. He remains the hairiest of the lot with his Mohawk as distinct as ever. The calves were all measured a month ago and Rani, who is slightly younger than Philip, turned out to be marginally taller than him.
Chest girth: 155 cm
Shoulder height: 104 cm
Body length: 136 cm
Philip is still on 9 milk feeds a day, and unlike the other younger calves, he enjoys nibbling on a bit of the concentrate feed which mostly contains rice, jaggery, various lentils, soya and some salts. The little charmer has also ingeniously learned to untie shoelaces and seems to be obsessed with it!
Much to Philip’s relief, the calves haven’t been taken for baths in their play-pond as the water had all dried up. Instead, they have had to make do with a luxurious spray of the hose, which Philip quite enjoys. Showers, too, have been infrequent because of the weather. The calves only get a shower on good, pleasant, sunny days. Unfortunately, as it has rained in lot in the past few weeks, the younger calves have missed out on frequent baths and have even had to spend some time indoors.
The month of April was very worrying for our team as many of the calves suddenly fell sick and lost their appetite. Despite having been dewormed recently, subsequent tests indicated a higher parasitic load and the calves responded well to another dose of deworming. Although not as much as the older calves, but Philip too had been unwell and lost a bit of weight in this duration. Thankfully, he is well now, feeding enthusiastically and has returned to his normal playful self.
Philip Dev and his friends
Quite like a matriarch, Philip has been leading the group of the younger calves! Maybe someday, the tables will turn! Rani sticks close to Philip and follows him around like a shadow. Nunai too, weaned off the dependency on her keeper, spends all her time with Philip and Rani. Being quite young themselves, Philip and Rani aren’t completely gentle with her but she doesn’t seem to mind it too much. This cute little one sometimes forgets to follow them and then suddenly realizes she’s been left behind and then trumpets and runs back towards them.
All orphaned under tragic circumstances, these three little calves now form a close knit group and spend their days in play under the care of the rehab team in Assam. Delightful as their presence in CWRC is, we all look forward to the day they take their place in the wild again.
Philip and his playmates
(L to R) Philip, Rani and Lily Nunai