GUWAHATI, Nov 7 – In all, 166 rhinos died in the Kaziranga National Park (KNP) in the 21-month period between February 11, 2013 and October 21, 2014.
Of them, 121 rhinos died of natural reasons, while 45 were killed by poachers. These information were made available by the State Public Information Officer (SPIO) of the Office of the Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), Eastern Assam Wildlife Division, Kaziranga National Park, Bokakhat to RTI activist Rohit Choudhury on October 21 last, in reply to an RTI application.
In reply to a previous RTI application, the SPIO of the Office of the Director, KNP, Bokakhat informed Choudhury that in the about eight- month period between February 10, 2014 and September 30, 2014, 50 rhinos of the national park were reported dead. Of them, 32 died their natural death, while 18 were killed by poachers.
From the above two replies of the authorities concerned, it has become clear that within eight months the KNP recorded death of the 50 rhinos among the 166 of its rhinos killed by various factors in a period of about 21 months.
It needs mention here that since February 11, 2013, Swapan Kumar Seal has been officiating as the DFO, Eastern Assam Wildlife Division, Bokakhat and since February 10, 2014, MK Yadava, IFS has been officiating as the KNP Director.
However, it is not known as to what were the natural causes – like old age, diseases, etc – which resulted in the death of 121 rhinos during the said 21-month period.