Chitwan, Sept 10
Until recently, the Chitwan National Park (CNP) in the district has recorded zero poaching of rhinos.
This was, however, interrupted on September 6 after a rhino was found dead at an island near Laukhani in Nawalparasi in the area of the Chitwan National Park. The rhino sustained head injuries and wounds made by sharp weapons.
A team of the CNP employees and Nepali Army launched a search for the animal after hearing gunshot five days ago before the rhino was found dead. The rhino might have been shot dead the same day when the gunshot took place, said the CNP officials. However, the rhino’s horn and hoofs were found intact. Investigations into the matter were on, said CNP’s chief conservation officer Ananath Baral.
The CNP has devised a strategy to control the rhino poaching and finish off poachers, he said. The people, who were imprisoned on various charges and freed, and fugitives are a main challenge in controlling poaching, he said. More than 100 poachers have been on the large and a search has been launched for them, it has been said.
Poaching might be taking place taking the advantage of global COVID-19 pandemic, Baral said. Altogether 106 rhinos were killed during the time of 2058 B.S. and 2063 B.S. with 38 in a single year during the Maoist insurgency, according to data with the CNP. The number of rhinos killed by poachers is 176 so far since 1995. According to a 2015 census, of the total 645 rhinos found in the country, 605 are from the CNP.
Rhino census is being conducted at CNP this year. The census held in 2015 before this counted 605 of these animals in the national park. The total number of rhinos throughout the country was 645. The Nepal Army’s Batukdal Battalion has been assigned with the responsibility of securing the CNP. It is said there were around 800 rhinos towards 1950 AD and the number had drastically reduced to 100 in 1963 AD.
The rhino population had gradually increased after this. The one-horned rhino is an endangered and rare species in the world.