14 May, 2018
Kaziranga National Park Faces Loss of 4th One-Horned Rhino for 2018
There doesn't seem to be an end to the number of poaching incidents in India, as Assam’s UNESCO World Heritage Site - Kaziranga faces another loss in the form of one-horned male rhino. The 30-year-old adult male rhino was found dead on Thursday, 10 May in the Chirakhowa area near the Brahmaputra River, making it the 4th loss for the year. A search operation was launched soon after the forest officials at Burapahar Range heard the sound of gunshots at 7:30 AM. According to the Officials, the poachers were armed with rifles and had a good idea about the area and the possibility of finding rhinos there else they wouldn't have taken the risk of going that deep in the park. The officials also added that the poachers had swept in at least 2 days in advance from the southern edge of the Park, particularly from the Karbi Anglong area which serves as the monsoon shelter of the animals. Besides, the pre-monsoon in the national park played a helping role in the planning as the vegetation growth helped the poachers in hiding from the forest officials. This case came as a more shocking one because the new Forest Minister Parimal Suklabaidya recently visited Kaziranga National Park and raised his concern about the anti-poaching drive. The Forest Minister was also heard talking about the need for a better coordination between police and the forest officials for solving the poaching incidents that are taking place in Assam’s famed attraction.
Kaziranga National Park which is home to almost 2413 rhinos, is known for housing world’s two-third one-horned rhinoceros population. That being said, the national park seems to be under the shadow of poachers as this is the fourth case for the year 2018. The first poaching incident took place on 14 January where a female rhino was shot down at Daflang camp area of Bagori range but the poachers failed to take the horn. The next case took place on 11 February where the adult rhino was found dead in Polokata Tapu near Sitamarhi under Lahorijan forest camp where unfortunately the poachers managed to sweep with the horn. This was followed by the incident that took place outside the national park as the female rhino had strayed away, which the poachers used as a golden opportunity where they killed the rhino and ran off with the horn. The dead body was recovered from Lahore Chapori near Majuli island which was informed by the villagers to the forest officials. Besides, the year 2017 saw more than 15 poaching cases, a little less as compared to the 18 incidents that took place in 2016.
Furthermore, to reduce the number of poaching cases in the national park the government is taking steady steps. Recently on May 4, 2018, Friday the Kaziranga Special Task Force (STF) and Nagaon Police took hold of a wanted rhino poacher who was involved in a number of poaching cases that took place in the national park over the years. Apart from this, to battle out more such cases in the upcoming monsoon season, Kaziranga is going to have more drones which are better way to monitor the animals. At present, the National Park has only one drone and seven electronic eye-cameras that are set up in different parts of the area. Another major step that will be taken for the protection of the rhino-bearing areas of Assam and Bengal includes the deployment of 4 more Belgian dogs, making them 6 in total. Misky, Sheela, Jubi and Leon will soon be taking on the poachers who try to run off by killing and taking the horn away. The success rate of these dogs giving the right clue to the park officials has been about 50-60 percent and has helped capture around 40 poachers from the year 2013.