The Dudhwa National Park, which is located in the foothills of Himalayas in Uttar Pradesh, has become an ideal home to the famed one horned rhinoceros that is listed among the endangered species.
The number of rhinos at this sanctuary has increased courtesy, the successful relocation of these animals from Kaziranga in Assam and breeding them.
The translocation of the rhinos was initiated in 1984 after the last of the rhinos at Dudhwa was killed by the European game hunters in 1878.
R L Singh, an expert on rhinos and Conservator of the Rhinoceros Relocation Project at Dudhwa mentioned that the rhinos are more endangered than the tigers as evident from the illegal trade of rhino horns by the mafia.
The horns of rhinos are believed to possess therapeutic values and extensively used in oriental medicines.
He said that the rhino relocation and breeding project at Dudhwa has proved to be a grand success.
"In the year 1984 we brought here around five rhinos from Kaziranga National Park. After one year we bought 5 female rhinos from Chitwan National Park in Nepal and in return gave them 16 tame elephants. I am very happy to inform you that at present we have 28 rhinos in Dudhwa National Park," said R L Singh.
Mohammad Naseen, a caretaker in the Dudhwa Rhino Rehabilitation Project mentioned that rhinos are more in danger than the tigers.
As he put it, tigers though being small in numbers exist at various places throughout the country unlike the rhinos, which are found only in the Kaziranga National Park of north-eastern Assam and the Gorumara and Jaldapara sanctuaries in the neighbouring West Bengal state.
"The problem with Rhino is that it is available only at one place and that is in the Brahamaputra valley of Assam. It is because of this reason that it is termed as endangered specie. Nowhere else this species will find a safe habitat. Dudhwa National Park must be credited for it is the only place where the animal (rhino) that had gone extinct was brought back after 100 years and without any aid in form of food and water, it survived on its own and multiplied," said Mohammad Naseen, caretaker, Rhino Rehabilitation Project, Dudhwa National Park.
Singh also noted that the success of the Rhino Project at Dudhwa has prompted other national parks with climate suitable for rhinos to survive and breed to follow suit. (ANI)