Poachers kill rhino at Kaziranga National Park, take away its horn

Official sources on Monday said the forest guards found the carcass floating at a billabong in Kaziranga.

Published: 27th March 2023 02:35 PM  |   Last Updated: 27th March 2023 02:50 PM   |  A+A-

One horned male rhinoceros, Ramu at the Nehru Zoological Park.

Image of one-horned male rhinos used for representation purpose. (File Photo | EPS)

By Express News Service

GUWAHATI: After a lull of more than a year, poachers killed a rhino at the Kaziranga National Park in Assam and took away its horn.

This is the first case of rhino killing this year. Earlier, the state government said there was not a single incident of rhino poaching in 2022 for the first time since 1977.

Before that, the last rhino poaching that was reported had been in 2021. Assam Police have a zero-tolerance policy towards poaching; hence, a special task force was formed against it in June 2021.

Official sources on Monday said the forest guards found the carcass floating at a billabong in Kaziranga.

“One rhino carcass was detected by the staff of Kathpara camp under Western Range Bagori at about 4.30 pm in Bormer beel on 26th March 2023. There was a cut mark in the nasal bone of the rhino and the horn was taken away by miscreants,” the park authority said in a statement. 

“It is evidently clear that the rhino was killed by a poacher about 6-7 days ahead. Sex is yet to be ascertained as the carcass is floating in the water. Details can be revealed after receipt of post-mortem reports. Investigation to track the poachers is on,” the statement added.

The poaching of rhinos in Assam came down drastically after the BJP had risen to power in 2016. The party had promised to protect the animal, the pride of the Assamese.

The Kaziranga National Park, which is a World Heritage Site, is home to a large population of rhinos. The latest census, conducted last year at a rhino-bearing area of 864 sq km, put the animal’s number at 2,613 – 200 more than the 2018 census figures of 2,413.

According to official figures, 191 rhinos were poached in Assam between 2000 and 2021. The highest 27 rhino deaths each were recorded in 2013 and 2014 and the lowest in 2020 and 2021.

Considered an aphrodisiac, the rhino horn is high in demand in Southeast Asian countries. A single horn could fetch Rs 5 crore from the international black markets.

India Matters


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