Guwahati: Amid the flooding inside the Kaziranga National Park, a bullet-riddled carcass of an adult female rhino with its horn removed was found inside the park on Saturday.
A forest official told the carcass was spotted by a patrolling team near Meteka Beel under Gabri anti-poaching camp in the park’s forest range at around 11 am.
The team found six empty cartridges of .303 rifle near the spot and following the tip-off, a person from Biswanath is arrested in connection with the incident. “An investigation is underway and it is led by a senior-level forester,” said an official who didn’t wish to be named.
“We heard gunshots on Friday and subsequently launched a combing operation to find out what has happened. Unfortunately, we found a carcass,” he added.
The person who is arrested in connection to the incident was involved in poaching activities inside Kaziranga in the past.
“One suspected poacher is detained and the investigation is on,” said a statement from the park authority.
The official mentioned above said that the poachers take advantage of the flood. While the forest officials get busy with rescue and relief operations for the flood-affected animals, the poachers take advantage and carry out such activity.
A video is doing rounds on social media on how the patrolling team met with an accident after their boat capsized in the stream. Reportedly, all the forest officials in the boat are safe.
The park official Twitter account, said, “Life of Foresters on the field. While reaching the place of occurrence yesterday, our staff had to face such things. Everyone on the boat was saved. All culprits involved in the case will be brought to book soon.”
Life of Foresters on field. While reaching the place of occurrence yesterday, our staff had to face such things. Everyone on the boat was saved. All culprits involved in the case will be brought to book soon. pic.twitter.com/PuTlimL1Qj
— Kaziranga National Park & Tiger Reserve (@kaziranga_) August 9, 2020
“It is very tough to do multiple jobs at the same time when the park is reeling under the fury of the flood. But we prioritize all and give our best effort,” said the official.
Kaziranga lost 18 rhinos during the flood so far. Two calves are under observation at the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC) after they got separated from their mothers. The search for uniting the calves with their mother is still underway.