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India’s Assam State Endeavors to Halt Rhino Poaching

Kaziranga National Park is home to the world's largest population of the rare rhinos, with more than 2,000 of the species

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Rhinoceros Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

The newly elected government of the northeast Indian state of Assam has launched plans to crack down on the poaching of the area’s famed one-horned rhinos.

The state’s Kaziranga National Park is home to the world’s largest population of the rare rhinos, with more than 2,000 of the species. While overall poaching deaths have dropped over the last few years, a series of rhino killings this year has led the new government to renew anti-poaching efforts.

The state’s new environment minister, Pramila Rani Brahma, said Saturday that local police have been asked to join the offensive against poaching. Previously, Kaziranga’s forest rangers and anti-poaching staff handled this responsibility on their own.

Brahma said allegations that some park staff may be involved in the trade in rhino parts were also being investigated.

On Tuesday, as Brahma and other officials visited Kaziranga to discuss the threat of poaching, a female rhino was shot dead by poachers in the vicinity.

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In April, poachers killed a rhino at the 480-square-kilometer (185-square-mile) park hours after a visit by Britain’s Prince William and his wife, Kate.

The royal couple had spent several hours at Kaziranga in hopes of drawing attention to the plight of endangered animals, including the park’s one-horned rhinos.

All five of the world’s rhino species are under constant threat from poachers seeking their horns to sell on the black market. Demand is high in countries such as China and Vietnam, where people mistakenly believe consuming rhino horns can increase male potency. It does not.

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This year, eight rhinos in Kaziranga have been killed for their horns, after 17 were poached in 2015.

Despite the threats, Kaziranga is a conservation success story. The reserve had 75 rhinos in 1905. In 1966, the number of rhinos in Kaziranga was put at 366. According to a 2015 estimate, the number has risen to 2,401. (Source: VOA)

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  • AJ Krish

    Protection of wildlife especially the endangered once must be put on top of everything.People who engage in poaching must be punished severley as only then can we eradicate it.

  • Paras Vashisth

    It sounds very good and I wait for the day when all the state government bring such type of actions for prevent the animal species.

  • devika todi

    Kaziranga is indeed a conservation success story. the statistics are a proof of that.
    poaching of endangered animals should be stopped immediately. before we know it, our ecosystem will suffer yet again, because of careless and unmonitored actions of the humans.

SHARE
  • AJ Krish

    Protection of wildlife especially the endangered once must be put on top of everything.People who engage in poaching must be punished severley as only then can we eradicate it.

  • Paras Vashisth

    It sounds very good and I wait for the day when all the state government bring such type of actions for prevent the animal species.

  • devika todi

    Kaziranga is indeed a conservation success story. the statistics are a proof of that.
    poaching of endangered animals should be stopped immediately. before we know it, our ecosystem will suffer yet again, because of careless and unmonitored actions of the humans.

Next Story

Chipangali Wildlife Orphanage in Zimbabwe Educates Against Poaching

The Chipangali Wildlife Orphanage is home to 25 animal species, some endangered, some rescued from poachers

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Animals outdoors at Chipangali Wildlife Orphanage, near Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second largest city on April 20, 2019. The orphanage is home to 25 species, some endangered, some rescued from poachers. VOA

An animal orphanage in Zimbabwe is one of the organizations leading efforts to ensure poaching and development do not wipe out the wildlife of the southern African nation.

About half an hour drive southeast of Bulawayo is a special orphanage caring for abandoned and injured animals. The Chipangali Wildlife Orphanage is home to 25 animal species, some endangered, some rescued from poachers.

Vivian and Paddy Wilson established the orphanage in 1973 and a second generation now runs it. Chipangali’s co-director Nicky Wilson explains what motivated her in-laws to begin rescuing wildlife.

“(When) Chipangali was formed there was only CROW (Centre for Rehabilitation of Wildlife), which was in Durban (South Africa) and Daphne Sheldrick Orphanage in Kenya. There was no other places where you would put animals that wouldn’t survive in the wild,” Wilson said.

Animals are brought to Chipangali after being injured, seized, or orphaned, says Wilson. Some are later released into the wild, and some are not.

“Some birds might have flown into power lines and are missing part of their wings, they won’t be able to be released. We also have baby animals, sometimes if they are reared, they become too tame and assume that every human is friendly, unfortunately that is not the case in our world. So, they will stay here permanently and utilize them for our education,” Wilson said.

The oldest resident of the orphanage is a crocodile rescued four decades ago from a community angry it was eating their goats and cattle.

The locals wanted to kill the crocodile, believed to be in its 90s, but at Chipangali it was made part of the education program for visitors. Wilson shows visiting journalists a display of animal fetuses, removed from mothers that died in poacher’s snares.

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Nicky Wilson, co-director Chipangali Wildlife Orphanage about half an hour drive southeast of Bulawayo a special orphanage caring for the abandoned and injured offspring of local animals on April 20, 2019. VOA

“We are obviously trying to educate mainly locals and anyone who comes visit us here at Chipangali into the importance of Zimbabwe wildlife heritage. Tourists would not come and visit Zimbabwe if it weren’t for the big five: elephant, lion, buffalo, leopard and then rhino. Because without our wildlife, they wouldn’t come to Zimbabwe. So we are trying to tell people to look after our animals,” Wilson said.

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Since its creation, Chipangali Wildlife Orphanage has rescued and released numerous animals into the nearby Matobo National Park. They include several troops of vervet monkeys and baboons, more than 30 pangolins, five leopards, 20 cheetahs, and various antelopes, small carnivores, and birds of prey. (VOA)