After a gap of almost eight months, poachers killed a female rhino at Rajiv Gandhi Orang National Park, about 150 km from here, on Thursday.
The pachyderm was killed near the Amulya anti-poaching camp. However, poachers failed to take away the following prompt retaliation from forest guards.
"It's sad that poachers were able to kill a rhino after a long gap. The poachers killed the rhino with a .303 rifle but they carried a double-barrel gun for protection. We have recovered empty cartridges, a liquor bottle and peeled oranges. We have launched a search operation for the poachers and all anti-poaching camps have been put on high alert," said Mangaldoi DFO Sushil Kumar Daila.
The spot where the rhino was killed is located deep inside the park and is covered with tall grasses. "The poachers took advantage of thick grass cover to kill the rhino. Soon after hearing sounds of gunshots, our staff from Amulya and other anti-poaching camps launched an operation. As a result, the poachers could not chop off the horn," added Daila.
This is the second rhino death in Orang this year. The first rhino killing took place in May. Last year, only one rhino was killed by poachers.
Spread over an area of 78.81 sqkm area, Orang recorded 100 rhinos in the census operation carried out this year. Kaziranga National Park, which is located on the southern banks of the Brahmaputra, has lost at least 14 rhinos so far this year.