Hundreds of young and aged wildlife enthusiasts and animal lovers participated in 'The Great Save Rhino Walkathon', an event that was hosted here on Sunday to spread awareness to save the country' famed one horned rhinoceros.
The rampant incidents of killing of rhinos in Kaziranga National Park (KNP), Pobitora, Manas and Orang National Park by poachers have threatened the existence of the great rhinos found mainly in Assam.
Last year 17 rhinos were victims of the poachers and reportedly another 27 lost their lives during floods when river Brahmaputra inundated the sanctuary of Kaziranga National Park.
"Rhinos are the pride of Assam all over the globe; so Kaziranga University organised this event to increase awareness and we are seeking the government's help in ensuring these killings are put to a stop," said Basant Khetan, one of the organisers of Walkathon from Kaziranga University.
The 18 km walkathon had lucrative cash prizes.
Rs. 21,000 for the winner, Rs.11,000 for the runner-up and Rs. 5,000 to the second runners up was awarded after the walkathon.
Consequent to the overwhelming public response, the government of Assam intends to make this an annual event.
The demand for rhino horns has been steadily increasing in the international market, particularly, China for its application in medicine.
Because of this increased demand, rhino horns are sold at phenomenal rates in the international market with the price reaching to the tune of millions of rupees.
As such rhinos in Assam have become a soft target for poachers to make fast and easy money. (ANI)