Print Edition - 2017-09-11 | News
Rhino habitats destroyed after floods: CNP
Sep 11, 2017-
Recent floods have threatened the habitats of one-horned rhinos inside the Chitwan National Park (CNP).At least three rhinos have died since the flood. A rhino died after getting trapped in a swamp near the Kuchwani Post on Sunday, the park officials said.
The August floods have caused a severe destruction in the areas where the park rhinos are commonly found. Most of the grazing pastures have turned into swamps, limiting the food supply of protected rhinos.
Incidents of rhinos attacking one another have also risen of late, said Ram Chandra Kandel, the park’s chief conservation officer “Only last week, a male rhino was killed in what we believe was a territorial battle with another male rhino near Icharni Post inside the park. With the flood destroying several rhino habitats, the chance of confrontation between rhinos has increased,” Kandel said.
CNP officials suspect that many rhinos are still stuck in swamps after the floods. When the Rapti river spilled its banks, the floodwaters gushed into forests and grasslands, inundating wildlife habitats and sweeping away many animals.
At least eight rhinos were carried away by the floodwaters to India.
Although the rhinos were rescued and released inside the park, they still face risk, Kandel said.
“The floodwaters have receded, but many areas are still covered in mud. Besides rhinos, other animals are also equally under threat,” he added.
Last year, a total of 25 rhinos died due to various reasons. In this fiscal year alone, seven rhinos were killed in flood and territorial battles.
According to the 2015 census, there are 605 rhinos inside the CNP.
Published: 11-09-2017 06:59