GUWAHATI, Sept 15 - The ongoing verification of rhino horns stored across various treasuries of the State that had started on August 11 concluded today with the verification of 118 horns at the Guwahati Treasury.
A total of 2,031 out of 2,038 horns stocked in seven treasuries were verified during the exercise. Seven horns – two each at Lakhimpur and Golaghat treasuries and three at the Tezpur Treasury – could not be verified.
“The maximum number of 1,193 horns were verified at Golaghat Treasury, followed by 550 at Nagaon Treasury, 118 at Guwahati Treasury, 59 at Mangaldai Treasury, 56 at Tezpur, 33 at Barpeta Treasury, and 22 at Morigaon Treasury,” a Rhino Horn Verification Committee member told The Assam Tribune.
Conducted at the Kamrup (Metro) Deputy Commissioner’s conference hall, the last of the verification exercise found 11 horns to be partially cut-off. Earlier, five horns at Tezpur were also found in a similar condition.
Today’s exercise in Guwahati also yielded the presence of a massive horn, measuring 45 cm in length and a base radius of 56 cm, and weighing 2.564 kg.
Meanwhile, samples from four horns, from Golaghat (1) and Barpeta (3), have been sent for further testing at the Dehradun-based Wildlife Institute of India (WII), as the authenticity of those horns could not be conclusively established.
Earlier, during verification at Nagaon, another huge rhino horn weighing 3.051 kg with a length of 36 cm was found. The outer curvature length of the horn was 45 cm and inner curvature 38 cm while the base circumference was 60 cm. The rhino belonged to Bagori range of Kaziranga National Park and was found in August 1982.
“The verification procedure included checking genuineness besides updating the complete inventory of rhino horns in the custody of Assam Government, and the entire process has been live-streamed for transparency,” the member said.
The 12-member committee has four wildlife experts, two representatives from media, an RTI activist, and a forensic scientist beside four high officials of the Forest Department.