A semi-adult male rhinoceros in the Orang National Park has been left injured after an alleged attempt of poaching. The bleeding rhino, moving around the marshland of the national park, was spotted by the elephant patrol team on May 9 without its horn.
A forest division officer said that it was definitely a poaching attempt as the rhino did not have injury marks anywhere else and the horn was neatly axed off.
“Initially we thought the rhino lost its horn due to infighting. It happens at times. We informed the Principal Chief Conservator of Forest. The team from Guwahati then sedated the rhino and went near it. There were no injury marks on the animal but the horn was axed away,” said Pradipta Baruah, Divisional Forest Officer Mangaldoi Division.
“It is a clear case of poaching where the poachers tranquilized then animal before taking away its horn. This incident in Orang is the first instance after 2017,” he said.
The doctor looking after the seriously injured rhino informed that the animal is doing fine and there has been no maggot formation in the injured area.
“We are keeping watch on the animal round the clock,” added the DFP.
Orang National Park, located on the north bank of the Brahmaputra River in Darrang and Sonitpur district, recorded around 23% rise in one-horned rhino population over the last four years.
The rhino count, which was 101 in 2018, now stands at 125. Of the 125, 43 are male, 49 females and 23 are calves while the gender of 10 could not be ascertained.
The last census in the park was done in 2018 when 101 rhinos were found in the park.
A carcass of an adult female rhino, suspected to be killed by poachers, with its horn missing was detected inside Kaziranga National Park in Assam in January 2022. This is the first case of suspected poaching of the world famous one-horned rhino in Assam this year.
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