Poachers killed yet another rhino in Kaziranga National Park in Assam in the wee hours of Friday, taking the number of rhinos killed in the hands of poachers there in the current year to seven. Official sources said the rhino was killed in the Agaratoli range that constitutes the eastern part of the national park, with poachers escaping after removing its horn.
Meanwhile, state forest and environment minster Atuwa Munda informed the state assembly on Friday that Kaziranga had lost 75 rhinos in the hands of poachers since January 2011. Replying to a question in the on-going budget session, Munda also gave a year-wise break-up of rhinos killed by poachers in Kaziranga – 2011 (3), 2012 (11), 2013 (27), and 2014 (27).
Kaziranga also lost 327 rhinos due to natural reasons like old-age and in-fighting since 2011, the minister informed. While 67 Kaziranga rhinos had died due to natural reasons in 2011, the figure rose to 109 in 2012, came down to 74 in 2013 and further down to 60 in 2014. In the current year the national park has so far recorded 11 natural deaths of rhinos, he added.
The national park which has the highest density of tigers in the country on the other hand registered death of 16 tigers due to natural reasons since 2011, minister Munda said. While six tigers had died of natural reasons in 2011, four died in 2012, five in 2013 and one in 2014, he stated.