BOKAKHAT, Oct 19 – After pit poaching, electrocution and firing methods, poachers have now started to follow another method to take away rhino horns. On October 13, poachers cut off the horn of a female rhino near Sohola Beel under Agaratoli Range of the Kaziranga National Park (KNP). Forest department sources said that the poachers first tranquillised the rhino and after sawing off the horn, they shot at it to confuse Forest officials. This happened just four days after the visit of Union Environment and Forest Minister Jayanti Natarajan and top officials of the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau. CID officials, in the meantime, have already submitted the report on the rhino which is on the throes of death. Forest officials have failed to track the poachers till the filing of this report.
On Thursday, a team of environment activists was attacked by a female rhino which was with its calf. Four members out of the five somehow managed to climb a tree, while one injured Biju Urang had been admitted to the Bokakhat Hospital. One rhino was killed at Burhapahar Range under the KNP and its horn taken away.
Significantly, the CI of Police, Bokakhat, arrested one person at Amtenga on suspicion. Wild animal parts including that of a snake and an empty cartridge were recovered from his possession. On interrogation, the arrested person had reportedly stated that he had been practising as a healer.
The rampant killing of rhinos at the KNP during the last month has been criticised by the Bokakhat units of the AASU, AGP and AJYCP. AASU activists also burnt the effigy of the State Forest Minister.