Rare one-horned rhino killed by poachers in Nepal’s Chitwan national park


KATHMANDU (Xinhua) – A rare one-horned rhino has been killed by poachers in Nepal’s largest habitat of rhinos, Chitwan National Park, on Saturday.

Officials at the Chitwan National Park (CNP) confirmed that an adult male rhino was shot dead on Friday night and the horns were hacked off.

“We found a dead rhino killed by poachers in a community forest, near the central office of the park, this afternoon (Friday). We have launched investigations into the incident,” Nurendra Aryal, assistant conservation officer at CNP told Xinhua.

As per the initial reports, the endangered species was shot by rifle while the horn has been cut off with an axe.

The poachers tried their luck during the night-storm and at a time when the security concern has been shifted towards relocation of five rhinos from CNP to far-western region based Shuklaphanta National Park. As part of government’s decision of transferring five rhinos, four have already been released to the new habitat within a week.

The incident comes at a time when Nepal was planning to mark the success of third consecutive “Zero Poaching Year,” thanks to effective conservation efforts and scientific security mechanism. The last rhino-poaching incident occurred in May 2014 in the same region.

Chitwan National Park, located some 150 km from the capital city, is renowned for protection of one-horned rhinoceros, Royal Bengal tiger and Gharial Crocodile. According to Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, out of total 645 rhinos in Nepal, over 600 are in Chitwan National Park.