Two Rhino Poachers Killed in Kaziranga Battle

Guwahati, July 25: Two rhino poachers were killed in a gun fight with forest guards in Assam’s Kaziranga National Park (KNP) on Wednesday night, officials said on Thursday.

The incident took place at Malina forest camp under Bagori range office in the park.

Following a tip-off, forest guards launched an operation inside the park on Wednesday night, where the five member rhino poacher group entered the park to killing one horned rhinos.

“Our boys had found the site, where the poacher group took shelter and started firing and bullets were exchanged, where two poachers killed on the spot,” KNP director NK Basu said.

Three poachers of the group had managed to flee from the encounter site with the help of darkness.

Forest guards recovered one 303 rifle with ammunition from the slain poachers.

This is not the first time that poachers have been killed in Kaziranga. Just four months ago, a battle with four poachers resulted in the death of two and the capture of the other two. As the previous story noted, the government is now doing much more to stop poachers. The Assam forest department deployed 300 jawans of Assam Forest Protection Force (AFPF) to protect wild animals and fight against poachers in the world heritage site.

Poachers have killed at least 24 rhinos in the world heritage site Kaziranga in this year so far.

In 2012, the park lost 22 one horned rhinoceros.

The recent one horned rhino population census report documented 2329 of the animals in Kaziranga.

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