KATHMANDU, Aug 11: The government has decided to send a team of experts to China to find suitable habitat for Nepali one-horned rhinos, which Nepal has decided to gift to China.
The decision of the government comes as Chinese government has asked the ministry to send experts to find proper habitat and assistance in management of the rare animals, officials at the Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation (MoFSC), said.
A cabinet meeting of the previous government held on July 10 had decided to provide two pairs of one-horned rhinos to China.
“We will send a team of experts before sending the rhinos,” Yagyanath Dahal, information officer at the MoFSC, said, adding that the team will also comprise conservation officers. He said that the ministry has directed the concerned agencies under the MoFSC to form a team to be sent to China.
“We have directed the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC) to start necessary preparation to send expert's team to China,” Dahal, added.
According to Dahal, the State Forestry Administration of China has sent an official request to the MoFSC to send an expert team to help it to find proper habitat for the rhinoceros following the decision of cabinet regarding the gift. The Chinese government had requested for two pairs of one-horned rhinos with Agni Sapkota, the then minister for forests and soil conservation during his visit to China in January.
The rhinos to be gifted to China would be selected from the Chitwan National Park, which is currently home to over 600 rhinos. Previous governments had gifted the endangered mammals to several friendly nations including Germany and Austria.