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India refuses to repatriate flood-displaced three rhinos to Nepal

- Narayan Sharma, Nawalparasi

Dec 13, 2018-

Indian authority has refused to repatriate three one-horned rhinos that were swept across the border from Nepal’s Chitwan National Park (CNP) during the flooding six months ago.

According to Chitwan National Park spokesperson Gopal Ghimire, the rhinos, which were swept away by Narayani River, are currently in the jungle of Balmiki National Park, India. He said the Chitwan National Park tried to bring back rhinos as the environment in the Balmiki National Park was not favourable for them.

 Earlier this year, 11 rhinos swept across the border from Chitwan National Park were rescued and repatriated from Balmiki National Park immediately. The rhinos are found grazing in a jungle at Nepal-India border.

Ghimire said CNP employees are looking for the opportunity to dart the rhinos with tranquilizer when they come to the jungle on Nepali side.

One rhino, which was spotted in Susta area, is a male rhino. Two other rhinos are in the jungle of India.

The employees of Chitwan National Park have become alert after they found one male rhino grazing in the jungle near Susta area.

Ghimire said that they have been facing difficulties to trap the two rhinos as they are in India.

He said though a technical team from Chitwan National Park had gone to India to bring back the rhinos, the Indian security personnel did not allow them citing they need permission from central government.

Two weeks ago, a 10-member team including two elephants under the command of Ranger Dinesh Chaudhary of the Chitwan National Park has been deployed in the Susta area to catch the rhinos.

The Susta locals, however, claim that Indian authority has deployed its staffers to bar the team of Chitwan National Park from repatriating the rhinos.

Though the Chiwan National Park had sent a letter to the Ministry of Forest and Environment, which forwarded it to the Indian Ministry of External Affairs through Nepal’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the park has not received any response yet, Ghimire said.

 

Published: 13-12-2018 19:06

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