Rhino, tiger found dead in Kaziranga
Naresh Mitra, TNN 8 October 2009, 03:16am IST
GUWAHATI: A rhino and a tiger were found dead in Kaziranga on Wednesday, barely a fortnight after the national park suffered three casualties. With
the latest deaths, the tiger toll has reached 12 since November 2008 while the rhino toll has risen to six this year alone.
The rhino carcass, with its horn missing, was found floating in a water body in the Bagori forest range. "The carcass was a few days old. The horn might have dropped off as the flesh started rotting,'' said Bagori range officer D Kalita. The animal was fished out from near Bimoli camp of Bagori range.
The carcass of a female tiger was retrieved from the Mikirjan area in the Kohra forest range of the national park. Preliminary investigations revealed that the tiger was suspected to be poisoned by villagers residing on the park fringes. The postmortem report is awaited.
On September 19, a rhino was shot dead by poachers in the Burapahar forest range and a tiger was killed, allegedly in a retaliatory attack by residents at Mohpara, outside the Kohra range. On the same day, at Dolamara in Karbi Anglong, a tusker was killed by poachers, who chopped of its trunk and tusks. Three poachers involved in the rhino killing were later arrested.
Park officials said poachers were not directly involved in the latest rhino death. "This is not a case of poaching as no bullet or any other injury marks were found on the body during examination. The rhino was old and might have died of age. Its carcass was found inside the core area where poachers don't tread. Hunters generally target rhinos when they come out of the core area,'' said Kaziranga DFO D D Gogoi.