Barely three days after a dehorned rhinoceros carcass was found floating on the flood waters of Kaziranga National Park, a female rhino on Wednesday 26 September was shot at by the poachers and its horn and right ear were axed.
The Centre for Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation (CWRC) has rescued the rhino and it’s currently under intensive care.
“The rhino had wandered out to escape the flood waters inside the forest and fell prey to poachers in the early hours of Wednesday morning,” said Dibyadhar Gogoi, Divisional Forest officer, Eastern Wildlife Division, Kaziranga.
Forest authority sources have said that at least five more rhinos have ventured into the highlands in neighbouring Karbi Anglong district and could fall prey to poaching.
While similar incidents are reported during floods, conservationists express their concern on the failure of forest authorities to prevent poaching. Staging protest against the incident, people on Wednesday blocked National Highway 37 and burned the effigies of state forest minister Rakibul Hussain.
“Assam’s greater one-horned rhinos are far from secure in their homeland and the rising trend of poaching and natural deaths calls for serious intervention to ensure added protection for the species,” said Bibhab Kumar Talukdar, Asian Rhino Programme Coordinator of the International Rhino Foundation.
The greater one-horned rhino is one of the five surviving species of the rhinos in the world. Assam is home to over 70 percent of the world’s greater one-horned rhino population.