In this photograph taken on March 23, 2013, an Indian forest official walks past a dead rhino that was killed by poachers in Nagon. A gang of poachers killed a rare one-horned rhino at a wildlife park in northeast India, taking to 15 the number of beasts slaughtered this year, an official said on March 24, 2013.  - AFP File Photo

GUWAHATI: A gang of poachers killed a rare one-horned rhino at a wildlife park in northeast India, taking to 15 the number of such beasts slaughtered this year, an official said on Sunday.

Heavily-armed poachers fired at the rhino late Saturday inside Assam state's Kaziranga National Park and its horn was gouged out, just a day after another giant pachyderm was killed, a wildlife official said.

“Two rhinos have been killed in two days and it is a matter of concern for all of us,” a park ranger told AFP by telephone, requesting not to be named since the state government has gagged officials from speaking to the media.

“Poachers used AK-47 and 303 rifles to shoot dead the rhino. We have recovered empty cartridges from the site of the incident,” the official said.

Kaziranga has fought a sustained battle against rhino poachers who kill the animals for their horns, which fetch huge prices in some Asian countries. The main market for the horn is China where it is used for making medicine and jewelry while in Vietnam many believe the horn has cancer curing and aphrodisiac qualities.

At least 21 rhinos were killed last year by poachers in Kaziranga, about 200 kilometres (120 miles) from Assam's main city Guwahati.

A 2012 census in the park put the number of the rhinos at 2,290 out of a global one-horned rhinoceros population of 3,300. The species fell to near extinction in the early 1990s and is currently listed as “vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, one notch away from “endangered”.

The opposition parties have hit out against the state government for failing to combat rampant poaching. “Poaching has been going on and the government is unable to check it. We see a definite nexus between forest officials and poachers,” Sarbananda Sonowal, a local leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party, told AFP.

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Comments (11)

March 24, 2013 2:58 pm
Poachers cannot kill animals if government control is right. Also India must tell China that it cannot eat other countries animals like they have eaten their own.
March 24, 2013 3:37 pm
very soon human's blinding never ending greed will leave earth with no other life. so sad.
Nasr KiKi
March 24, 2013 6:49 pm
Greed the mother of all ills.
umesh bhagwat
March 25, 2013 12:10 am
There is a well-planned conspiracy to kill the wild-life in India!
Maheen Fatima
March 25, 2013 4:36 am
a really good effort. it is our responsibility to aware people about the endangered animals so that there can be decrease in hunting.
March 25, 2013 6:09 am
Indian government has failed to stop the killings of rhinos it is their duty because the Assam is illegally under their occupation to which the Assam people are fighting for independence.
March 25, 2013 8:31 am
Life sentence should be awarded for killing Rhinos, Tigers, etc.........
March 25, 2013 1:23 pm
What does this got to do with the story?
March 25, 2013 1:56 pm
That picture for some reason is very painful to watch.
Different View
March 25, 2013 3:17 pm
Give away the endangered animals to those countries who can take care of them, like the US, UK or the European countries.
March 25, 2013 3:17 pm
Don't assume every country is like Pakistan
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