Poachers shoot rhino; body of another recovered

A female rhinoceros was left bleeding by poachers who sawed off its horn and cut off a part of its right ear after shooting it, while the carcass of another with its horn removed was found on Wednesday at Kaziranga National Park in Assam’s Golaghat district. The attack on the rhinoceroses sparked protests by locals.

The female rhinoceros had strayed on Tuesday from the flood-hit park around 7 PM and a search operation was launched, Divisional Forest Officer Dibyodhar Gogoi told PTI.

Gun shots were heard on Wednesday morning and a search of the east division of the Karbi Anglong hills found the endangered animal in a seriously injured state, Gogoi said.

The poachers took away the horn after sawing it off and a part of the right ear and veterinarians were trying to save the rhinoceros, he said.

The carcass of another rhinoceros was recovered during the day from the Bagori range of the park with its horn sawed off, park sources said. KNP Director Sanjib Kumar Bora said anti-poaching camp personnel were on high alert in the park.

The attack on the rhinoceroses sparked protests by local people and members of All Assam Students Union and Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad who blocked the National Highway 37 passing beside of KNP. The demonstrators burnt the effigies of Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and forest minister Rockybul Hussain alleging that authorities had failed to protect the animals in the park.

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