Chitwan, July 6
Thirty-six rhinoceroses have died in the Chitwan National Park (CNP) and its buffer zone in the current fiscal year that is ending on July 16.
Out of these, two were killed due to poaching and the remaining due to natural causes.
CNP Information Officer Ganesh Prasad Timilsina says the latest casualty, a female rhino of around 25 years, was found dead near the Meghauli Range post. Its horn and hooves are safe and the park authorities believe that it must have died of natural causes as there are no wounds on its body.
Of the two rhinos killed by poachers in the current fiscal year, the horn and hooves of one had been taken away by the poachers while those of the next one were found intact.
Timilsina says among the 34 rhinoceroses that died of natural causes, almost half lost their lives due to fighting with each other. Others died due to old age, getting stuck in a swamp, tiger attacks and falling in ditches.
Last year, 33 rhinos died due to natural causes last fiscal year, 2020/21.
Years back, 44 rhinoceroses had died due to natural causes in one year. This is the highest number of rhino casualties due to natural causes so far.
The death rate of rhinos is increasing with the increase in the number of rhinos in the Chitwan National Park.
Chief Conservation Officer Haribhadra Acharya says maximum possible efforts are being made to reduce the number of rhino deaths due to natural causes.
The national rhino census conducted last year has found 752 one-horned rhinos in Nepal, of which, 694 are in the Chitwan National Park.