CHITWAN, Nov 20: A committee formed by the Ministry of Forests and Environment (MoFE) to investigate the poaching of two rhinos in the Chitwan National Park (CNP) has initiated its on-site work. A five-member team, led by Deputy Director General of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, Bed Kumar Dhakal, arrived in Chitwan and commenced their ground investigation.
Deputy Director General Dhakal said that they reached the location on Saturday and conducted a comprehensive examination. Today, discussions are underway with stakeholders, including the Buffer Zone Management Committee.
He mentioned that the intermediary meeting will address the issue, and discussions will continue with other relevant bodies. Dhakal stated, "We are preparing a report after a thorough study and discussion."
Dhakal, who is also a former chief conservation officer of CNP, possesses extensive knowledge about the situation in the area. The MoFE formed the committee last Friday, making a secretary-level decision to submit a report within 10 days.
The committee comprises key officials from the Directorate of National Parks and Wildlife Reserves of the Nepal Army, Deputy Superintendent of Police from the Central Bureau of Investigation of Nepal Police, legal professionals, and investigation officers from the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation.
Deputy Director General Dhakal said that the report would be prepared after collecting necessary evidence and addressing areas that require improvement.
The investigation comes after two rare one-horned rhinoceroses were poached and killed by smugglers in the national park. The rhinos were discovered dead on Thursday, with a 6-year-old female rhino (discovered after three days) and an 18-year-old female rhino (discovered after ten days) found in the eastern sector of the park near the Badela River in the Chaparchuli area.