21 rhinos die in less than six months

Chitwan, Dec 31: The first five and half months of the current fiscal year as in the past produced a disappointing situation for the Chitwan National Park (CNP) in regard to the case of rhinos. 

Despite the report of no cases of rhino poaching in the CNP in the past two years, the stakeholders concerned are yet to find the atmosphere conducive to the celebrations in view of the rising number of deaths of the endangered wildlife. To date, 21 rhinos died in accidents, and owing to old age. 

Among the dead pachyderms, nine are below 25 years of age. As stated by CNP information officer Gopal Ghimire, 20 rhinos were under the protection of the CNP while one was under the care of the District Forest Office, Chitwan. 

Five lost their lives to fighting (male-male), one died from falling from a mound of earth, one during labor pain. Similarly, two died after being caught in quicksand, and 11 due to aging. 

The average age of a rhino is 60 years, CNP chief conservation officer Bed Kumar Dhakal said, adding that more deaths from natural and external causes (fighting and accidents) is likely when the population rises. However, we are trying to find the preventive measures against such deaths. 

Last year, the deaths from these reasons were 25 and the flooding was one of the reasons behind such tragedies. 

The CNP records show that eight rhinos had faced such deaths in 2014 and it was followed by 15, 14 and 24 in the following years. 

Moreover, the CNP has reported no case of rhino poaching in around the past two years. The latest rhino census puts its number at 605 and the fresh census is taking place this fiscal year. RSS

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