Local insurgent groups suspected as eight empty shells of an AK-47 assault rifle discovered at the site where the rhino’s carcass was found.In Assam’s Kaziranga National Park Poachers fled with the rhino’s horn.
This is the first instance of rhino poaching in Kaziranga this year. (Sourced)
There has been no recorded instance of poaching in the 430 sq km park since April 1, 2019, and it had recorded three poaching deaths last year and this was first incident this year.
P Sivakumar, director of the national park said “The carcass of the adult male rhino was found by our personnel on Saturday evening at the Agaratoli range of the park with its horn missing. It seems the poaching incident took place on Wednesday”.
All 5 National Parks, 18 wildlife zoos and sanctuaries have been closed due to Covid-19 pandemic and during this duration the movement of poachers was suspected in these regions.
Mr.Sivakumar said “There was some information about the movement of eight persons allegedly belonging to some extremist group from Karbi Anglong in the Panbari area with three AK series rifles. Combing operations were carried out based on the information,”.
He also added “This is the first case of use of AK-47 rifles to kill rhino in the Agaratoli range of the park. Only trained groups who know how to handle such arms can indulge in such kind of poaching. We suspect they had come from the nearby Karbi Anglong district,”.
A suspected poacher with arms was caught by villagers and handed over to police and forest officials last month.
Rohit Choudhury, a wildlife activist, tweeted “Kaziranga did its best to keep poachers away in last 13 months. Unfortunately it was the poachers’ day (sic)”.
Kaziranga is the largest habitat of the one-horned rhino in the world with 2400 rhino population.Apart from this it is also hunting ground for poachers who target the animal for its horn—prized as medicine in China and some other Southeast Asian countries.
As reported by Hindustan Times ( HT ).