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Nepal’s Chitwan National Park reports first rhino poaching incident after 3.5 years

File: A rhino found dead in Chitwan National Park

Kathmandu, September 9

Chitwan National Park in central Nepal has reported a rhinoceros death due to poaching on Tuesday. This is the first time in the past three years that the park reported a rhino poaching incident.

The male rhino, aged 20-25 years, was found dead at Bandarjhula island of Nawalparasi district inside the park on Sunday, September 6. The park’s Chief Conservation Officer Ananath Baral says security personnel had reported hearing some sounds of shooting in the area, triggering the personnel to check if any animal was killed.

Whereas the body was already decaying, its horn and hoof were found safe. During postmortem, two small holes were noticed on its head, without a bullet. “We are shocked to find the holes without bullets,” Baral says, “We are consulting security experts.”

Before this, the last incident of poaching in the park was recorded on April 7, 2017. Until then, the number of rhinos killed by the poachers used to be quite high every year.

For the past four years, however, the park has been seeing a significant increase in the number of natural deaths of rhinos. Therefore, of late,the park authority was focused on minimising the number of natural deaths. But, the recent poaching incident has alarmed the officials again.

“The park is always under several security threats as we have dense forests, but the number of security posts and personnel is limited,” Baral says, “It seems we need to adopt additional security precautions.”?

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