GUWAHATI, July 13 - As the threat of poaching looms large over flooded Kaziranga, the forest department has deployed its special Rhino Protection Force in the national park.
“The period of flood in Kaziranga has been a golden time for poachers for the hunt of rhino horns as the rhinos move to high lands in search of rehabilitation and fodder. Keeping this in mind, we have deployed the Rhino Protection Force, trained and equipped with all latest armoury. This recently-inducted force consisting of 82 personnel has been divided in groups of five and spread across the national park,” Forest Minister Parimal Suklabaidya said.
On Saturday, two notorious poachers were nabbed in an investigation carried out by a team of forest officials in Biswanath Chariali district.
The minister also said leave of forest staff stands cancelled with immediate effect and those who were on leave have been asked to join service immediately.
He said the problem of animal hits on the NH-37 has also been resolved to a significant extent with professional management of the highway traffic jointly by the forest officials, district administration and local police.
He said a number of steps, including imposition of Section 144 around the vicinity of the park, 24x7 monitoring and medical aid to animals, real-time animal rescue support system through strategically placed task force and boats, etc., have been able to produce positive results.
The minister also appealed to the people residing in the vicinity of all national parks and wildlife sanctuaries to treat any flood-affected animal which comes to their area of residence in search of shelter and fodder with utmost care and love, and inform the forest staff immediately for subsequent support.