Yet another one-horned rhino poached in Assam

Source : IANS
Last Updated: Mon, Jan 14, 2013 12:30 hrs

Guwahati, Jan 14 (IANS) Suspected poachers killed another one-horned rhino in Assam's Manas National Park and took away its horn. The carcass was spotted by forest officials Monday.

Forest officials said that the rhino had been killed a few days ago.

Forest officials had recovered two carcasses of one-horned rhinos last Friday in two separate isolated sandbars of the Brahmaputra river. One carcasses was found at Chitalmari sandbar in Morigaon district while the other was recovered in Sonitpur district. Both the sandars are in isolated areas.

Assam's Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife) Suresh Chand said: "It seems to be a case of poaching. Our guards at Manas National Park had recovered the carcass from Bansbari forest range of the park today. The horn of the rhino was missing."

"This was the second male rhino which was trans-located to Manas National Park from Pabitora Wildlife Sanctuary in 2008 as part of the Indian Rhino Vision (IRV) 2020 project, which envisages an increase in the population of one-horned rhinos to 3,000 by the year 2020 in protected areas of Assam," Chand said.

Manas National Park was declared a World Heritage Site in Dec 1985 by UNESCO. In 1992, the world body declared it as a World Heritage Site in Danger due to heavy poaching and terrorist activities.

In June 2011, the park was removed from the list of World Heritage Site in Danger and was reverted to a World Heritage Site.

According to the rhino census last year, there were 2,505 rhinos in Assam, including 22 in Manas National Park. Kaziranga National Park had the largest number of rhinos at 2,290 followed by 93 in Pabitora Wildlife Sanctuary in Morigaon district and another 100 rhinos in the Rajiv Gandhi National Park at Orang in Darrang district.

Over 40 one-horned rhinos were killed last year in the state. While close to 30 rhinos were killed in various protected areas due to three wave of devastating floods, more then 12 rhinos were killed by poachers, including seven inside the high security Kaziranga National Park.

Stung by the controversy over the unabated killing of one-horned rhinos in Kaziranga National Park last year, the Assam government had created the elite Assam Forest Protection Force (AFPF) in Oct last year.

More from Sify: