Poachers kill two rhinos in Assam, toll rises to three

Guwahati: Within days of the year’s first killing of a rhino at the Kaziranga National Park in Assam, carcasses of two more rhinos have been found, their horns sawed off, authorities said on Sunday.
On Jan 9, the poachers killed a one-horned rhino in Dhing in Nagaon district and escaped with its horn. The recovery of the two more carcasses Sunday has pushed the killings of rhinos to three this year, and raised the hackles of animal rights groups.
Of the two latest carcasses found Sunday morning, one was detected after a gun battle between the poachers and forest guards at Burhapahar range of the park Saturday night.
The other carcass was recovered from a sandbar in the Brahmaputra river inside Agaratoli range of the park, officials said. The animal was possibly killed a week back, and its horn was missing, they added.
“The gun battle con-tinued till the early hours on Sunday. On Sunday morning the forest guards recovered the carcass of a female rhino from the area. The horn was missing,” said Divisional Forest Officer of the park S.K. Seal Sarma Sunday.
“Later, during the patrolling, another carcass of a male rhino was spotted on a sandbar of Brah-mapu-tra river inside Agaratoli range of the park. The horn of the male rhino was missing too, indicating it to be a poaching case,” he said. This rhino was, however, killed about a week back.
Several organisations, including the All Assam Students Union (AASU), on Sunday held a protest in the Kaziranga park against the unabated killings of one-horned rhinos. (IANS)

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