Poachers Kill Translocated Rhino in Manas National Park

Assam government has failed to protect wild animals in the state as poachers killed another one horned rhino in Manas National Park, officials said.

According to report, forest officials on Wednesday found the bullet-sprayed body of a mother translocated rhino at Kapurpara Bashabari forest range in the park.

“Forest guards found the body of the female rhino inside the park whose horn was missing,” a park official said.

Reports say the poachers killed the rhino three days before.

The female rhino was translocated to Manas National Park (MNP) from Kaziranga National Park (KNP) on March 12 in 2012 under Indian Rhino Vision 2020 programme (IRV – 2020).

A top official of MNP said the translocated rhino had given birth to a calf on March 23 of this year.

It was the second killing incident, a poacher killed two translocated rhinos in MNP this year.

A total of 18 rhinos, 10 from the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary and eight from the Kaziranga National Park have been translocated so far to the Manas National Park.

A top official of WWF-India said that, the high demand for rhino horns and the illegal wildlife trade continues to be the biggest threat to the newly established rhino population. Three translocated rhinos have fallen prey to poachers in the past two years.

Poachers have continued rhino killings in the state and have killed 17 rhinos in KNP this year.

The recent rhino census report said that, the rhino population in KNP is now 2329, an increase of 39 in the past year, from 2290.

Recently, the state government said a total of 143 rhinos were killed in Kaziranga in the past 12 years.

From 2001 to 2013 (up to February), total 143 one-horned rhinos had been poached in the national park.

During the period, poachers killed 10 rhinos in 2001, 5 in 2002, 6 in 2003, 5 in 2004, 12 in 2005, 9 in 2006, 19 in 2007, 12 in 2008, 14 in 2009, 8 in 2010, 9 in 2011, 22 in 2012 and 12 in 2013 up to the month of February.

To protect wild animals in the state, the forest department had recently deployed 300 armed jawans of Assam Forest Protection Force (AFPF) in Kaziranga National Park.

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