Indian security refuses to return Chitwan rhinos

- Narayan Sharma, NAWALPARASI

Dec 14, 2018-

Indian security personnel have refused to repatriate three one-horned rhinos swept across the border from Chitwan National Park (CNP) during floods six months ago.

CNP Spokesperson Gopal Ghimire said, the rhinos that were swept away by the Narayani River are currently in the jungle of Balmiki National Park of India.

He said the CNP tried to bring back rhinos as the environment in the Balmiki National Park was not favourable for them.

Earlier this year, 11 rhinos that were swept across the border from the CNP were rescued and repatriated from Balmiki National Park immediately.

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

The CNP employees have become alert after they found one male rhino grazing in the jungle near to Susta area. One rhino is frequently spotted in Susta area while two others are in the jungle of India.

A 10-member team including two elephants under the command of Ranger Dinesh Chaudhary has been deployed in the Susta area to control the rhinos and bring them back for past two weeks but to no avail.

According to the locals of Susta, Indian security personnel have been mobilised to bar the rhinos from entering into Nepali territory.

Ghimire said that a technical team from CNP had earlier gone to India to bring back the rhinos, but the Indian security personnel did not allow them citing they need permission from the central government.

Though the CNP 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, said Ghimire.

Court fines four over rhino death

CHITWAN: The Chitwan District Court has fined four persons, including two senior staffs of Hotel Meghauli Serai, for their carelessness that electrocuted a one-horned rhino in Chitwan National Park forest two years ago.

Single bench of Judge Binod Kumar Gautam on Wednesday slapped Rs 100,000 fine on Ritesh Bhatta while Dipu Sashi, Jiwan Mahato and Sunil Mahato were fined Rs 50,000 each. Indian nationals Bhatta and Sashi were the manager and nature guide at the hotel when the incident happened in August 2016. The rhino was electrocuted when an electric wire was left unattended after wielding works near the hotel. The national park had filed a case against nine individuals after the death of the rhino. The court acquitted the other five persons. The luxury hotel lies on the banks of the Rapti River where rhinos frequently visit for grazing.

Tusker kills man

UDAYAPUR: A man died in an elephant attack at Belaka Municipality in Udayapur on Wednesday. Police identified the deceased as Buddhiman Magar, 50, of Belaka-3. The wild tusker emerging from Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve attacked the victim near his residence.

Published: 14-12-2018 08:55

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