GUWAHATI, February 12, 2018: An adult rhino was killed by the poachers and escaped with its horn from the Western Range of the Kaziranga National Park in Biswanath district, a senior forest official said today.
As per Rohini Ballav Saikia, Kaziranga National Park Divisional Forest Officer, the incident took place at around midnight at Polokata near Sitamari area- a sandbar island in the Brahmaputra — south of Baghmari powergrid station under Lahorijan forest camp.
“Poachers took its horn and fled the spot, which is an open area of about 200 metres from the forest camp. We have also found five rounds of empty cartridges of .303 rifle from the spot,” Saikia told the media.
Saikia, along with other senior forest officials, reached the spot this morning and a joint team of forest and police personnel launched an operation to nab the poachers, he added.
The incident took place in Biswanath within hours of Assam Governor Jagdish Mukhi directing law enforcing agencies to take all measures to prevent cases of poaching of rhinos in Kaziranga National Park.
This is the second rhino poaching incident in Kaziranga this year. On January 14, a female rhino was killed at Daflang camp area of Bagori range, but the poachers could not take its horn.
Forest Minister Pramila Rani Brahma has said that during the ongoing Budget Session in Assam Assembly, altogether 74 rhinos were killed by poachers in Assam since 2015 and 316 poachers were arrested during 2015-17.
The minister had informed the House on February 8 that as many as 21 rhinos were killed in 2015, 22 the next year and 9 in 2017.
Featured image: Representation