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13 rhinos killed in KNP last year

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, March 17 � Facts not available in the public domain have revealed significant information about rhino slaughter in and around Kaziranga National Park, where 13 of the highly protected species met gruesome end last year alone. Information acquired by The Assam Tribune reveals not just the number of deaths, but identifies the places where they were killed, time of poaching, and manner of killing, among others.

There were two cases of poaching of rhinos in January, and two again in February. One kill was recorded in April and another in May. After a lull of two months, poaching started again in August. In September another animal was eliminated, and in the next month two more were felled. December was the worst month for the park, during which three of the valuable animals were slain by poachers within a span of eight days.

Those acquainted with the scenario, including forest personnel, believe that poachers could have been unable to strike in June and July due to increased patrolling and flood waters making parts of the park inaccessible.

According to the details, Agaratoli and Bagori were most susceptible to poaching activities in 2009. Three rhinos were killed in each of the ranges, while the area of Brahmaputra Chapori witnessed two kills.

Eight of the 13 rhinos slaughtered were males, and four were females; the sex of one dead animal recovered from Kolkhowa Chapori was not determined. It has been established that all the animals killed by poachers were adults, and the weapons used in all the cases were guns of different bores.

Teams of poachers, which possibly include locals who know the terrain well, preferred to work under the cover of darkness, a fact revealed by the approximate time the killings took place. Most of the animals were felled after 6 pm, only two poaching incidents were recorded during daytime.

A senior Forest Department official, who wished anonymity, said that similar situations cannot be ruled out in the near future as there is a shortfall in frontline personnel detailed to patrol and monitor the park. �The expanded size of the park with new additions calls for more field staff, than is available at present. The delayed release of funds also continues to be a major hindrance in the park�s management,� he noted.

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13 rhinos killed in KNP last year

GUWAHATI, March 17 � Facts not available in the public domain have revealed significant information about rhino slaughter in and around Kaziranga National Park, where 13 of the highly protected species met gruesome end last year alone. Information acquired by The Assam Tribune reveals not just the number of deaths, but identifies the places where they were killed, time of poaching, and manner of killing, among others.

There were two cases of poaching of rhinos in January, and two again in February. One kill was recorded in April and another in May. After a lull of two months, poaching started again in August. In September another animal was eliminated, and in the next month two more were felled. December was the worst month for the park, during which three of the valuable animals were slain by poachers within a span of eight days.

Those acquainted with the scenario, including forest personnel, believe that poachers could have been unable to strike in June and July due to increased patrolling and flood waters making parts of the park inaccessible.

According to the details, Agaratoli and Bagori were most susceptible to poaching activities in 2009. Three rhinos were killed in each of the ranges, while the area of Brahmaputra Chapori witnessed two kills.

Eight of the 13 rhinos slaughtered were males, and four were females; the sex of one dead animal recovered from Kolkhowa Chapori was not determined. It has been established that all the animals killed by poachers were adults, and the weapons used in all the cases were guns of different bores.

Teams of poachers, which possibly include locals who know the terrain well, preferred to work under the cover of darkness, a fact revealed by the approximate time the killings took place. Most of the animals were felled after 6 pm, only two poaching incidents were recorded during daytime.

A senior Forest Department official, who wished anonymity, said that similar situations cannot be ruled out in the near future as there is a shortfall in frontline personnel detailed to patrol and monitor the park. �The expanded size of the park with new additions calls for more field staff, than is available at present. The delayed release of funds also continues to be a major hindrance in the park�s management,� he noted.