CHITWAN – Thirty-six rhinoceroses have died in Chitwan National Park (CNP) and its buffer zone in the current fiscal year. Out of these, two were killed due to poaching and the remaining due to natural causes.
CNP’s information officer Ganesh Prasad Timilsina said that the latest casualty, a female rhino of around 25 years, was found dead near the Meghauli Range post. Its horn and hooves are safe and the Park authorities believe that it must have died of natural causes as there are no wounds on its body.
Of the two rhinos killed by poachers in the current fiscal year, the horn and hooves of one had been taken away by the poachers while those of the next one were found intact. Timilsina said 34 rhinoceroses died of natural causes and half them due to fighting among each other. Most of the rhinos died due to old age, getting stuck in swamp, tiger attack and falling in ditches.
Thirty-three rhinos had died due to natural causes last fiscal year, 2020/21. Years back, 44 rhinoceroses had died due to natural causes in one year. This is the highest number of rhino casualty due to natural causes so far.
The death rate of rhinos is increasing with the increase in the number of rhinos. CNP’s chief conservation officer Haribhadra Acharya said maximum possible efforts are being made to reduce the number of rhino death due to natural causes.
According to him, the CNP has made a plan for internal relocation of rhinoceroses so that there is no high number of the animal at one place. Along with this, the CNP has emphasized on managing the rhino habitat. A proposal has been forwarded for developing model grassland for the rhino.
CNP has geared towards developing grasslands and water sources at separate places with the increasing trend of rhinos dying due to fighting when many rhinos lived at a single place.