CNP prepares to rescue four rhinos swept away by Rapti

- Bimal Khatiwada, Chitwan

Aug 17, 2017-The Chitwan National Park is preparing to rescue the endangered one-horn rhinos that were swept away to by the Rapti river flood recently. 

According to the park officials, one of the five rhinos swept away by the flood was found dead in Gandak Canal while four others have been located alive in Nawalparasi and India.

The flood carried away three rhinos to Nawalparasi while the remaining two were spotted in India’s Balmiki Nagar and Bagaha, said Nurendra Aryal, assistant conservation officer of the CNP. “We will first rescue the rhino spotted in a sugar-cane field in Bagaha. The rhino is trapped in floodwaters,” said Aryal. 

The CNP authority learned about the flood stranded rhino in Bagaha from the field director of Balmiki Tiger Reserve. 

A CNP team led by Aryal reached Bagaha to rescue the rhino on Tuesday. The team, comprising more than 40 people, will be aided by three elephants. “A lot has to be considered before shooting a tranquilliser dart on a rhino trapped in floodwaters. We hope to accomplish the job by Thursday evening,” Aryal said.

Basu Dhungana, a wildlife conservationist, said animals that live close to water bodies and low laying areas are  highly vulnerable in times of flood. “To mitigate the risk of animals getting trapped and killed by floods, we should build high grounds close to their habitats,” he suggested.  

The CNP lost one rhino, five spotted deer and one barking deer in the recent flood.

Published: 17-08-2017 07:45

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