Assam reported the first case of rhino poaching on January 20, after a female rhino was killed at Kaziranga National Park & Tiger Reserve.
A carcass of a bullet-riddled female rhino was found at Hilekhonda area of the park around 8.45 pm on January 19. The poachers took away its horn.
“The rhino was around 25-30 years old,” divisional forest officer (DFO) of Eastern Assam Wild Life Division, Ramesh Chandra Gogoi informed, while adding that they detected the animal late and that the poachers killed it in deep jungles.
The incident took place a day after England cricketer Kevin Pietersen applauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government on dropping of rhino poaching cases in the state.
Pieterson appreciated the Modi government after a report from the government mentioned that only one rhino was killed in the park by poachers in 2021, making it the lowest number in the last 21 years.
Rhino poaching in the national park has witnessed a significant drop since 2017 when the total number of poaching incidents was 6. In 2018, though 7 rhino poaching cases were reported, it came down to 3 in 2019, and 2 in 2020.
Last year, the state recorded history by burning nearly 2,500 rhino horns in one of the largest anti-poaching drives of its kind in Asia. Following Vedic rituals in a public ceremony, the rhino horns were burned in Bokakhat to mark World Rhino Day.