CNP suspects many rhino calves swept away in recent flooding

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CHITWAN — Many calves of endangered one-horned rhino might have been swept away in the flooding in mid-August, from the Chitwan National Park (CNP), estimates the CNP.

So the CNP has proposed a rhino count in the next year, breaking the regular routine of conducting a rhino census in every four years. The previous count was carried out in 2015.

CNP Chief Conservation Officer Ram Chandra Kandel informed that around 50 calves of rhino are born every year, and that calves along with their mothers might have been washed away in the disaster.

Three rhinos were killed in the flooding, he said. So far eight rhinos swept away in the disaster and dumped at an Indian place were rescued, and taken to the CNP, he said, adding that another is still stranded there.

Likewise, a rhino which was washed in the calamity is stranded in Narasahi in Nawalparasi, and another one is at Tribeni along with its calf.

Park information officer Nurendra Aryal said the rhino calves remain with their mother for nearly three years. This means that some 150 calves are estimated to be with the mother.

The rhinos were swept away by the extensive floods triggered by the incessant rainfall in August. Most of the rhinos rescued from the Indian area are adult rhinos.

According to the Park employees, the rhinos in the park are in a state of confusion as they were washed away from their habitat to new places by the floods.

Even the rescued rhinos are feeble and emaciated condition as they went without food and post-disaster trauma for nearly three weeks.

Chief conservation officer Kandel said they are proposing to hold a rhino census in 2018 for determining the exact rhino population in the park after the flooding. As per the 2015 rhino census, the number of rhinos in the park was 605.

Eight rhinos were shifted to Bardia and five to Shuklaphanta from Chitwan national park in the subsequent years.

The Park is also planning to hold a tiger census to ascertain the tiger population as tigers were also washed away by the flood. It is estimated that more than 1000 herbivores as wild boars, deer, spotted deer, also died due to the flood. RSS