Jorhat: Two poachers were killed in an encounter with forest staff at Kaziranga National Park on Tuesday. A .303 rifle, four rounds of ammunition and two mobile phones were recovered from them.
The encounter took place near the Rangalu anti-poaching camp in the Burapahar forest range of the park at 3.15 am on Tuesday.
Forest officials said following some inputs about the existence of four well-equipped poachers inside the forest range, a strong anti-poaching group, comprising forest guards and personnel of the forest protection force, launched an operation in the area last midnight and shot dead the poachers. But the other two managed to escape.
DFO (Kaziranga) S K Seal Sharma said, "Acting on a tip off, our staff launched a search operation in the Rangalu area of Burapahar forest range and killed two poachers on the spot. However, two others managed to escape by taking advantage of heavy rain in the morning. We have launched a massive search operation in all probable locations of the park to nab the two poachers who managed to escape."
He added that the poachers sneaked into the park on Monday night to kill a rhino and took shelter in a dense part of the forest near the Rangalu anti-poaching camp. But due to strong intelligence inputs, forest staff could succeed in foiling their attempt.
According to official records of the national park, 15 poachers were killed and 35 others were arrested by forest staff inside the park this year so far. The last incident was in May last when forest staff shot dead one poacher during an encounter in the Burapahar forest range of the park.
On the other hand, the park has lost 11 rhinos to poachers in the last seven months.