CHITWAN, Nov 30: Police at a press conference here have made public two persons who have been accused of killing two rhinos recently. The police also confiscated two rhino horns from them.
On November 16, two rhinos were found dead in a ditch in an area, two kilometers southeast of the Chaparchuli security post in the eastern side of the Chitwan National Park (CNP). One of the dead rhinos was 18-year-old and another six-year-old.
The rhinos were trapped to death, said the police. Following the death of the rhinos, a joint team from the CNP, Nepal Army and Central Investigation Bureau of Nepal Police was mobilized to investigate the matter.
The two were arrested 10 days after the killing of the rhinos. They were held on November 25 from Rapti Municipality-3 in Chitwan, said the CNP information officer Ganesh Prasad Tiwari. The arrestees from Chitwan and Makawanpur districts were planning to sell the rhino horns before being arrested, he said.
Following the incident, the Ministry of Forest and Environment had formed a probe team. The team led by Deputy Director General of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Bed Kumar Dhakal carried out a field study and submitted the report to the Department Director General Dr Sindhu Prasad Dhungana on November 28. The incident had also drawn concerns and worries about the death of the rhinos.
During the time of the armed conflict, 38 rhinos were killed in a single year. Lately, the killing of rhinos was significantly reduced. The CNP observed zero poaching years during some years in between. Last year, poachers had killed two rhinos, said the CNP. According to the latest census, there are a total of 752 rhinos in Nepal with 694 in the CNP alone.