Barely five days after a rhino was killed on August 30, Kaziranga National Park lost another rhino to the poachers on Wednesday. The poachers killed the rhino in the Bagori forest range and decamped with its horn. The park officials, however, managed to foil another rhino poaching attempt near Burapahar range in the park of the park on Wednesday.
With the latest death, the number of rhino casualties in Kaziranga, a Unesco World Heritage Site, rose to 20 this year. Two rhinos were also killed outside the park boundary this year - one each in Sonitpur and Karbi Anglong districts - after the animals strayed out.
Park director N K Vasu said that the rhino was killed at Choraimari area of the park's Bagori forest range. "Our staff heard some gunshots from Choraimari anti-poaching camp early on Wednesday morning and, soon, after, launched an operation against the poachers," Vasu said. Though forest officials fired at the poachers, they managed to escape. Vasu added that the guards also laid ambushes at various places in the park, but couldn't catch the poachers.
The place where the rhino was killed is deep inside the park and has become inaccessible because of rain, a park official said. He added that militants were not suspected to be involved in the Wednesday poaching, and that a .303 rifle was used to kill the rhino.
"The Brahmaputra flows along the northern boundary, and we suspect that the poachers might have sneaked into the park in a boat from the northern bank of the river," he added. More....