GUWAHATI: After a lull of more than a year, suspected poachers killed a rhinoceros at the Kaziranga National Park in Assam and took away its horn. This is the first such case this year. Earlier, the state government had said that not a single incident of rhino poaching had taken place in the previous year.
Official sources on Monday said that forest guards found the carcass of rhinoceros floating at a billabong in Kaziranga. “One rhino carcass was detected by staff of Kathpara camp under Western Range Bagori at about 4.30 pm in Bormer beel on 26th March, 2023,” the park authority said in a statement.
There was a cut mark in nasal bone of the rhino and horn was taken away by miscreants, the statement added. “It is evident that the rhino was killed by poachers about 6-7 days earlier,” it added. The Kaziranga National Park, which is a World Heritage Site, has a large population of rhinos.
The latest census, conducted last year at a rhino-bearing area of 864 sq km, put the animals’ number at 2,613 – 200 more than the 2018 census figures of 2,413. Considered an aphrodisiac, the rhino horn is high in demand in Southeast Asian countries. A single horn could fetch Rs 5 crore in the international black market. Spread across an area of 430 square kilometres, Kaziranga is home to over 2,600 one-horned rhinos. It is located in the Nagaon and Golaghat districts.