A day after opening, rhino carcass found in Kaziranga Park

Tourists enjoy elephant ride inside the Kaziranga National Park about 250km away from Guwahati on November 1, 2013. The National Park has been reopened for tourists from today. Kaziranga has the world’s largest concentration of Indian one-horned Rhino. Photo: Ritu Raj Konwar

A day after the Kaziranga National Park was opened for this tourist season, forest guards on Saturday found a one-horned rhino’s carcass with its horn missing.

Poachers arrested

Forest guards along with the police have arrested three poachers involved in rhino’s killing. The police have also recovered one .303 rifle and some ammunition from their possession.

Park officials said the rhino carcass was spotted during patrolling in Agaratoli range of the forest. It bore bullet injuries and its horn was chopped off by suspected poachers. The rhino was killed on Wednesday, the forest officials said.

Forest Minister Rockybul Hussain opened the park for this tourist season and inaugurated the jeep and elephant safaris on Friday. The authorities have pressed into service at least 17 elephants for the safari. A total of 120 tourists, including over 60 foreigners, visited the park on its opening day.

Police said the three, including one from Nagaland, confessed to their involvement in killing the rhino. Police investigation is on to recover the horn.

This is the 24th rhino killed inside the park this year. Although the Assam Government chalked out several strategies to stop poaching of the one-horned rhino inside the protected areas of Assam, the efforts are yet to bear fruit.