CHITWAN, March 24: Poaching remains a worldwide threat to wildlife including rhinoceroses as it has pushed some of the subspecies to the near extinction. But the case is somehow different for rhinos in the Chitwan National Park (CNP).
The CNP has been celebrating the zero-poaching of rhinos for some years, but continues to see the loss of this endangered animal due to some ‘preventable causes’. A total of 39 rhinos died to date in the current fiscal year due to some preventable and natural causes. This is the highest figure of rhinos' death from natural causes in a year in the country’s history
During the armed conflict in the country, poachers had killed 37 rhinos in 2058 BS. Since then, the poaching had gradually dropped and come under control.
According to the CNP Chief Conservation Officer Bed Kumar Dhakal, they are trying to identify the real factors leading to such preventable deaths.
Fighting (between male rhinos), falling from a mound of earth, attacks by a crocodile and tiger, health complication while giving birth to a baby, illness, and aging are the factors reported for multiple rhinos deaths in this period here. Average life expectancy of a rhino is 60 years.
According to the CNP, rhino deaths from such causes were counted 8 in 2014 followed by 15, 14 and 24 in the three consecutive years. The year 2002 had the worst record for rhino prevention as poachers killed 36 rhinos in this period.
The latest data shows that there are presently 605 rhinos in the CNP, country’s oldest national park. Though the CNP has a plan of conducting a new census of this wildlife, the date has not been fixed as a donor(s) have not been finalized yet.
On Saturday night, a female rhino of around 25 years of age lost her life after falling into a septic tank at Tiger Land Hotel based at Jagatpur of Bharatpur Metropolis-23. The hotel is adjacent to the park and the cover of the septic tank was easily breakable. The rhino died of suffocation.
Efforts are underway to take the dead rhino out of the tank. It was the same rhino which was rescued from the Susta around six months back. RSS