By Arré Bench Aug. 10, 2020
Assam has been submerged for nearly two months now. As a result of the incessant flooding, poaching has also been on the rise at Kaziranga National Park. Patrolling staff discovered a female one-horned rhino, missing her horn, who’d been shot multiple times.
Assam has been submerged for nearly two months now, with an estimated 70 lakh people displaced as a consequence. Large parts of the state, including Kaziranga National Park, are still inundated, affecting scores of animals in the region.
Now, however, the animals have a human problem to contend with as well. According to a recent report, as a result of the incessant flooding, poaching has also been on the rise in the sanctuary, which is home to 90 per cent of the world’s one-horned rhino population.
Patrolling staff on Friday discovered the carcass of an adult female one-horned rhino who had been shot multiple times. The rhino’s horn, which is valuable in several Asian countries for traditional medicine, was missing when authorities found the animal.
At around 11 am today, a rhino was found dead in an area under Gabrai anti-poaching camp. Adult female rhino was killed due to gunshot. Rhino’s horn has been cut off & taken away by poachers. 1 suspected poacher detained: Divisional Forest Officer, Kaziranga National Park #Assam pic.twitter.com/idw3voAf7Z
— ANI (@ANI) August 8, 2020
Staff also recovered six rounds of cartridges from the spot, suggesting that the poachers who killed the rhino were well-armed, and possibly professional. One suspect was later detained in connection with the incident.
The sanctuary has been relatively free of poaching since the first half of 2019, when a Special Rhino Protection Force was commissioned to save the animals. But reports say this is already the second rhino carcass discovered in 2020.
This video shows the difficulties being faced by the frontline forest staff while protecting wild animals in Kaziranga National Park, #Assam
Kaziranga has lost 18 one horned Rhinos 🦏 due to floods …
A big thank you to all the Protectors of Forests… pic.twitter.com/B65a56lESb
— Supriya Bhardwaj (@Supriya23bh) August 9, 2020
Back in March, the body of a male adult rhino was recovered from the park. Then too, staff found multiple shot wounds on the animal, whose horn had been removed. An AK-47 was also recovered from the spot.
The bullet-riddled cacass of an adult female rhino with its horn removed by poachers was found inside the Kaziranga NP. These one horned rhinos are way too precious to put up with poachers in Kaziranga. 🤬😩https://t.co/AqC5bYli2Q
— Xpose Trophy Hunting (@XposeTrophyHunt) August 8, 2020
While these two deaths are certainly a cause for alarm, the news, much like that of Assam’s floods, in general, have not received much attention online. Especially when considering that just a few months ago, the gruesome death of an elephant in Kerala, who was fed fireworks, had broken thousands of hearts on social media.
In Assam, meanwhile, locals have been struggling to cope with the deadly floods that have claimed over a 100 lives so far. In between that, and now dealing with this new poaching menace, it’s clear that the state is going through one of its worst crises in recent years. More of us should stand up and take notice.