Search for Nepali rhinos continues in India

Published On: September 4, 2017 03:14 AM NPT By: Ramesh Kumar Paudel

CHITWAN, Sept 3: The search for the endangered one-horned rhinos of Nepal that crossed over to India after the huge flooding a month ago, is still continuing, according to Chitwan National Park (CNP). 

So far, CNP authorities have rescued eight rhinos -- three rhino calves and five adult rhinos -- and brought them back to Nepal. 

Authorities suspect that more rhinos from Nepal might still be stranded in India so they are continuing the search. A team of vets, technicians and CNP's assistant conservation officer Nurendra Aryal are in India since August 15 in search of the rhinos.

“Eight rhinos have already been rescued, but there could be more stranded in India. So we have been searching for them,” said Aryal. Nepal's rhinos have been observed in Bihar's Balmiki Tiger Reserve, India, according to officials. 

Two big rivers -- Rapti and Narayani -- flow through the CNP. Monsoon-triggered incessant rainfalls about a month ago caused heavy flooding in the rivers. Rhinos living in the surrounding forests also got washed away toward India.

The first rhino was rescued on August 17. The rhino was washed away 42 kilometers in India's Bagaha. The rescued rhino was later brought to Sauraha and released inside CNP.

According to Aryal, who is also the spokesperson of the CNP, two more rhinos are in the Tribeni area and one of them is in dire need of rescue. “We have learnt that one rhino is roaming along the Nepal-India border. The other one is in Keuleni Community Forest of Nepal. The Keuleni forest is near the CNP area so there is no need to rescue the rhino immediately,” he informed.

CNP is the main habitat of endangered one-horned rhinos in Nepal. Out of the 645 one-horned rhinos of Nepal, 606 are found in CNP alone.

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