25 rhinos ‘died’ last fiscal in Chitwan National Park

- SHIVA PURI, BHARATPUR

Jul 18, 2017-

Twenty-five one-horned rhinos have reportedly died in the Chitwan National Park (CNP) in the last fiscal year. Of them, 19 were males. 

Nurendra Aryal, an information officer of the CNP, said the number of rhinos that died last fiscal year is higher compared to that in the previous fiscal year 2015-2016 when 15 rhinos had died. 

Majority of them died of natural causes, according to the CNP.

However, poaching incidents have drastically come down, with one rhino killed in 2016-2017. 

Around 645 one-horned rhinos were counted in 2015—the highest to date—across four protected areas in the Tarai Arc Landscape, namely CNP, Bardiya National Park, Shuklaphanta National Park and Parsa Wildlife Reserve. 

Nepal had lost 37 one-horned rhinos in one of the worst year of poaching in 2002.

In August 2016, a one-horned rhino, which had strayed from its habitat in the CNP, was shot multiple times and left to die by poachers at a forest in Rautahat’s Chandrapur Municipality-2. 

The injured pachyderm died during treatment, 17 days after it was rescued. 

The incident had put a break on the CNP’s run of two successive zero rhino-poaching years. 

On April 8, an adult male rhino was shot dead near Dhrubaghat in Belhatta Green Forest, a community forest in the CNP buffer zone, around three kilometres from the CNP headquarters in Kasara.

“However, the number of rhinos has increased by 4.5 percent in the last fiscal year,” said Aryal, informing that the CNP has been conducting rhino count every four years to monitor the status and population of the endangered species. 

As per the 2015 count, there are 605 one-horned rhinos in the CNP alone. 

Published: 18-07-2017 07:46

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