Guwahati: Officials in Assam stated on Thursday that poachers in the state’s Orang National Park removed the horn of a rhino after tranquillizing it (rather than killing it first).
During normal patrolling in the Muwamari area on Monday, park personnel discovered the dehorned sub-adult male rhino, estimated to be around 8-10 years old.
“Only in rare cases do rhinos lose their horns during fights with other rhinos. But in order to be sure, we summoned a team of experts, including veterinary doctors from the state zoo in Guwahati who visited the park on May 10,” Pradipta Baruah, divisional forest officer, Mangaldai wildlife division, said.
Officials familiar with the situation said that after tranquillizing the rhino, the crew discovered that the horn had been hacked with a sharp weapon by an adept hand. The rhino was discovered to be bullet-free. Poachers tranquillized the animal before removing its horn, according to the researchers.
“This is the first instance of poaching of a rhino horn using tranquiliser guns in Orang. Earlier, one-two such instances were recorded in Kaziranga National Park in the state. But this is the first time we have found that the horn has been removed in such a manner that the animal continues to be alive and healthy,” Baruah, who is also the field director of Orang Tiger Reserve, said.