Park officials rescue rhino from Susta

  • Indian authorities had barred way for three animals swept by floods
- RAMESH KUMAR PAUDEL, Narayan Sharma, Chitwan & Nawalpasasi
The CNP had tried to bring back the rhinos as the environment in the Balmiki National Park is not favourable for them

Dec 17, 2018-A team from the Chitwan National Park (CNP) rescued an adult one-horned rhino from Susta in Nawalparasi district on Sunday.  

Floods had swept the rhino across the border six months ago. The team comprising more than 40 officials darted the rhino with tranquilliser and took control of the animal when it entered into the Nepali territory from the Balmiki National Park of India.

CNP chief conservation officer Bed Kumar Dhakal and Sauraha office chief of the National Trust for Nature Conservation Ram Kumar Aryal had also reached Susta.

According to Aryal, the rescued rhino is being taken to Sauraha and will be released in the CNP forest soon.

The rescued rhino is one of the three that the Indian authorities refused to give back. Two other rhinos are still in the jungles of India. The CNP deployed a technical team in Susta area two weeks ago to take charge of the rhino when it crossed over to Nepal.

CNP employees were looking for an opportunity to dart the rhinos with tranquilliser when they visited the jungles on the Nepal side. Residents of Susta surrounded the rhino as it entered the Nepali territory from India two days ago. They said they had prevented the beast from going back to India using catapults.

Earlier this year, 11 rhinos swept across the border from the CNP were rescued and repatriated from the Balmiki National Park immediately. But the rescue of three rhinos was not possible due to refusal from the Indian side. The CNP team had gone to India to bring back the rhinos, but the Indian security personnel did not allow them citing the need for permission from the central government.

CNP officials had been alert after they found that one rhino often visited the Susta area for grazing.

CNP Spokesperson Gopal Ghimire said the park had tried to bring back the rhinos as the environment in the Balmiki National Park was not favourable for them.

Susta locals claim that the Indian authorities have mobilised personnel to bar the rhinos from returning to Nepal after the CNP team sought to bring back the beasts.

The CNP said it 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 for repatriating the flood-swept rhinos. The park has yet to receive a response.

Published: 17-12-2018 07:30

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