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Bhadra and Rupasi off to China to start a new life

  • Prime Minister Oli presents a pair of rhinos to Chinese envoy
- CHANDAN KUMAR MANDAL, Kathmandu

Jul 13, 2018-

‘Mr Bhadra’ and ‘Ms Rupasi’ on Thursday embarked on a new journey in their lives when they left their ‘home’ in Chitwan, in an unfamiliar mode of transport, to start a new life in Guangzhou, China

Bhadra and Rupasi are a pair of one-horned rhinoceros gifted by the government of Nepal to China.

Two years after the government took the decision gift rhinos, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli presented the pair to the Chinese ambassador to Nepal Yu Hong at an event held in Kathmandu.

PM Oli presented the export permit of Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) of Wild Fauna and Flora to the Chinese ambassador to enable the transit of the rhinos to China.

Speaking at the event, PM Oli said the unique gift of the pair of one-horned rhino to China would strengthen bilateral relations and besides spreading the message to stop poaching and smuggling of rhinos as well as endangered wildlife.

Two veterinary doctors and three caretakers are accompanying the pair on the cargo aircraft that took off Thursday evening. The pair will settle in Chimelong Safari Park in Panyu district of Guangzhou, China.  

The pair of rhino arrived Kathmandu from Chitwan National Park (CNP) in two wooden boxes, laden on trucks, escorted by a team of security forces on Tuesday.

Forest officials had transferred Bhadra and Rupasi this April from Khoriya Muhaan and Sukhibhar, respectively, from CNP.

Chinese government had requested for a pair of rhinos when then Forest Minister Agni Sapkota’s visited China in 2016. The request for one-horned rhinos as gift from Nepal was reiterated during PM Oli’s visit to China same year. On July 10, 2016, Nepal decided to gift a pair of rhinos to China.

The then Forest and Soil Conservation Ministry of Nepal and the National Forestry and Grassland Administration of China in April 2017 signed an agreement to transfer a pair of one-horned rhinos.  Nepal and China governments inked another agreement on June 25, 2018.

Last month, a team from CITES China, officials from Chimelong Safari Park, Shanghai Zoo and a veterinarian visited China to make arrangements to transfer the pair. Over the years, Nepal has gifted 26 one-horned rhinos to 10 countries.

In 1984, Nepal gifted four rhinos to India, followed by six to the United States of America in 1987 and 1990, according to the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC).

Nepal presented 16 one-horned rhinos, two each, to Germany, Bangladesh, the United Kingdom, Japan, Austria, Thailand, Myanmar and Pakistan between 1990 and 2006.

Published: 13-07-2018 08:59

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