749 Rhinos Poached in Kaziranga in Past Five Decades

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Killings of endangered one horned rhinoceros is on the rise in Assam’s Kaziranga National Park as 15 rhinos have been poached in the park since January 2012.

It has alarmed the authorities that 749 nos of rare one horned rhino have been poached in Kaziranga in the past five decades.

According to the data of forest department, since 1965 upto September 27, 2012, 749 endangered rhinoceros were killed by poachers in the park.

The data revealed during 1965 to 1970, poachers killed 55 rhinos in the park, while 38 rhinos were poached during 1971 to 1980.

Meanwhile, 329 rhinos were killed by poachers during 1981 to 1990, 207 poached during 1991 to 2000 and 120 rhinos were killed during 2001 to September 2012.

A top official of the Assam forest department said in 1992, 49 rhinos had been poached in Kaziranga which is the highest number in past five decades.

According to the data, the rhino poached in the park in year wise: 18 in 1965, 5 in 1966, 12 in 1967, 10 in 1968, 8 in 1969, 2 in 1970, 8 in 1971, 3 in 1973, 3 in 1974, 5 in 1975, 1 in 1976, 5 in 1978, 2 in 1979, 11 in 1980, 24 in 1981, 25 in 1982, 37 in 1983, 28 in 1984, 44 in 1985, 45 in 1986, 23 in 1987,24 in 1988, 44 in 1989, 35 in 1990, 23 in 1991, 49 in 1992, 40 in 1993, 14 in 1994, 27 in 1995, 26 in 1996, 12 in 1997, 8 in 1998, 4 in 1999, 4 in 2000, 8 in 2001, 4 in 2002, 3 in 2003, 4 in 2004, 7 in 2005, 7 in 2006, 20 in 2007, 16 in 2008, 14 in 2009, 18 in 2010 and 5 in 2011.

Apart from Kaziranga, 62 rhinos were poached in Laokhowa wildlife sanctuary during 1979 to 1993, where 40 rhinos were killed by poachers in a single year in 1983.

In 1983, 91 rhinos were poached in Assam which is the highest number of poaching in a single year.

During 1979 to 1993, 725 rhinos were killed by poachers in Assam.

Meanwhile, the DGP of Assam Police Jayanta Narayan Choudhury said that, Karbi militant group Karbi People’s Liberation Tiger (KPLT) was involed in recent killings in Kaziranga where four rhinos were killed.

The Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi had announced an CBI inquiry on poaching in the national park.

Hemanta Kumar Nath is a correspondent in Assam, India, who reports on local news in Assam, the north east Indian state.