Investigation launched into killing of one-horned rhino

- SHIVA PURI, BHARATPUR

Apr 10, 2017-

The Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) on Sunday launched an investigation into the poaching of a one-horned rhino in the Dhrubaghat area of the Chitwan National Park (CNP).

The WCCB, which has the mandate under the jurisdiction of Ministry of Forest 

and Soil Conservation to curb wildlife-related crimes in the country, has reached Chitwan and initiated the investigation. The WCCB team inspected the incident site and inquired with the authorities about the killing.

The adult male rhino was found dead near Dhrubaghat in Belhatta Green Forest, a community forest in the CNP buffer zone on Saturday morning. The poachers are suspected to have shot dead the animal on Friday night and taken away its horn and tail. A postmortem report showed that the poachers had used a .303 rifle to kill the pachyderm. 

Assistant Conservation Officer at the CNP Nurendra Aryal said the WCCB team comprising two sub-inspectors of Nepal Police initiated the investigation. “The team started investigation about the suspicious people and situation in and around the site where the rhino was killed,” said Aryal, but refused to divulge further details. The CNP refused to disclose the names of the employees deployed for the investigation.

Lal Bahadur Dawadi, the chairman of the community forest, informed the investigation team about the incident site. Two one-horned rhinos were killed in the same area in 2014 and 2008 while a forest guard was murdered there four years earlier.

Police suspect an organised group involved in poaching and smuggling animal parts might have been involved in the crime. The Chitwan District Police Office said it was preparing a list of the poachers who are at large. “We are preparing a name 

list of those poachers to launch a manhunt,” said Superintendent of Police Dipak Thapa. According to the CNP, around 100 persons involved in poaching and smuggling of animal parts are at large. 

The poachers killed the rhino as the CNP was preparing to celebrate the third consecutive year of zero rhino poaching on May 3.

Published: 10-04-2017 07:51

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