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Poachers kill rare rhinos in India's remote northeast

Published Mar 24, 2013 04:26pm


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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) Closed

shehzad77 Mar 24, 2013 02:58pm
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.
citizen Mar 24, 2013 03:37pm
very soon human's blinding never ending greed will leave earth with no other life. so sad.
Nasr KiKi Mar 24, 2013 06:49pm
Greed the mother of all ills.
umesh bhagwat Mar 25, 2013 12:10am
There is a well-planned conspiracy to kill the wild-life in India!
Maheen Fatima Mar 25, 2013 04:36am
a really good effort. it is our responsibility to aware people about the endangered animals so that there can be decrease in hunting.
KhanChangezKhan Mar 25, 2013 06:09am
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.
Thinker Mar 25, 2013 08:31am
Life sentence should be awarded for killing Rhinos, Tigers, etc.........
Noy Mar 25, 2013 01:23pm
What does this got to do with the story?
Sama Mar 25, 2013 01:56pm
That picture for some reason is very painful to watch.
Different View Mar 25, 2013 03:17pm
Give away the endangered animals to those countries who can take care of them, like the US, UK or the European countries.
zzzz Mar 25, 2013 03:17pm
Don't assume every country is like Pakistan