Two poachers killed in Kaziranga, rhino found dead (Lead)December 13th, 2010 - 3:41 pm ICT by IANS
Guwahati, Dec 13 (IANS) Two poachers were killed in a gunfight with wildlife rangers at the Kaziranga National Park in Assam Monday after a gang entered the area and killed a rhino, an official said.A wildlife warden said a group of about four to six poachers entered the park early Monday and shot dead an adult female rhino near the Agoratoli range and extracted its horn.
“On hearing the gunshots, a team of forest guards gave the poachers a chase and soon there was a gunfight between the two sides,” he said.
The encounter lasted about 30 minutes during which two poachers were killed, while the others managed to escape.
A rifle, a large quantity of ammunition, jungle boots, food and raincoats were also recovered, he added.
This is the second major success of forest rangers this year. Four rhino poachers were killed and seven arrested in May.
The 430 sq km park is home to the world’s largest concentration of one-horned rhinos. As per the 2009 census, some 2,048 of the world’s estimated 3,000 one-horned rhinos lumber around the swamps and grasslands of Kaziranga.
Ten rhinos were killed so far this year, while 18 were killed in 2008 and 14 in 2009.
Between 1980 and 1997, some 550 rhinos were killed by poachers in the wilds of Kaziranga, the highest being 48 in 1992.
Poachers kill rhinos for their horn, which many believe contains aphrodisiac qualities, besides being used for curing fever, stomach ailments and other diseases in parts of Asia.
Rhino horns are also much fancied by buyers from the Middle East who turn them into handles of ornamental daggers, while elephant ivory tusks are primarily used for making ornaments and decorative items.
A rhino horn sells for up to Rs.1.5 million per kilogram in the international market, according to officials of the forest department.
Once extracted, the rhino horn is routed to agents in places like Dimapur in Nagaland, Imphal in Manipur and Siliguri in West Bengal. They are also smuggled to Kathmandu in Nepal via Siliguri.
The horns are also smuggled via the Manipur-Myanmar border, from where they are transported to countries like Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore and China.
- One-horned rhino killed in Kaziranga park - Oct 28, 2010
- Two poachers shot dead in Kaziranga - Dec 13, 2010
- Four rhino poachers killed in gunfight in Kaziranga - May 21, 2010
- Rhino found dead in Kaziranga - Jan 28, 2010
- Rhino killed by poachers in Kaziranga - Feb 04, 2010
- Poachers kill two rhinos in Kaziranga - Dec 22, 2009
- BSF to check rhino poaching in Kaziranga - Feb 25, 2010
- Commandos trained by NSG to combat poachers - Jun 25, 2010
- Poacher gang consisting of former forest guards busted - May 18, 2010
- Four Kaziranga rhinos to be released in Manas - Feb 19, 2012
- Poachers trying to poison rhinos in Assam's national park - Sep 18, 2009
- Rhino census to be held in Assam from March 15 - Feb 28, 2012
- One-horned rhino killed in Assam - May 23, 2012
- Assam wildlife group protests removal of rhino's horn - Mar 25, 2012
- Assam's one-horned rhino population rises by 250 - Apr 09, 2012
Tags: curing fever, dimapur, early monday, elephant ivory, forest department, forest guards, forest rangers, gunfight, imphal, ivory tusks, jungle boots, kaziranga national park, poachers, raincoats, rhino horn, rhino horns, rhinos, siliguri, stomach ailments, west bengal