What a sad commentary that poachers continue to butcher innocent wild rhino and the government of Assam appears clueless as to how to tackle this situation that has gained menacing proportion. On the other day a rhino was gunned down by the poachers and its horn sawed in the Rajiv Gandhi Orang National Park which was considered `zero poaching’ protected area.
Now again a week later a mother rhino and her calf were killed in the same area by the poachers. The park officials recovered the carcasses during routine patrol on Sunday. The horn of the adult rhino was taken away by the poachers.
Spread over an area of 78.81 sq km, the park in Orang has close to a hundred rhinos as per the last census carried out by the Assam forest department.
Till the occurences of these two poaching incidents, Orang National Park had the distinction of a soliatary area in the state of Assam that was a “zero-poaching” protected area.
Last Saturday a male rhino was killed by poachers who had also sawed off its horn at Nichlabari area in Sonitpur district after the animal had strayed out of the park.
While Kaziranga National Park, Manas National Park and Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary had already bore the brunt, the last Saturday killing had, however, robbed Orang the distinction of being a “zero-poaching” protected area in the state.
Experts are of the firm view that the rhinos are bound to venture out of the park and to protect such animals it is imperative to not only intensify patrolling but also ensure increased involvement of the local villagers for gathering information about activities of poachers to effectively counter them.
Besides that the Assam government should coordinate with the Centre for seeking deploymewnt of para military forces at strategic locations on the pattern of Royal Chitwan National Park of Nepal, wildlife experts opined.