For the first time in over a year, an Indian rhinoceros has been killed for its horn in Kaziranga National Park. At the same time, the number of poaching attempts has increased recently due to the lockdown in India due to the corona virus, the park authorities say, reports AFP Monday.
Due to a lack of traffic around Kaziranga Park – which is home to the world’s largest population of Indian rhinoceroses – animals are increasingly approaching motorways. That makes the rhinos vulnerable to poachers.
Park director P. Sivakumar said on Sunday AFP that he suspected that the rhinoceros “was killed at least two to three days ago.” He also said that poachers had cut off the much-wanted rhinoceros. According to him, there were also eight empty bullet casings of an AK47 rifle in the vicinity.
On the black market, buyers are willing to pay around $ 150,000 ($ 138,600) for an Indian rhinoceros horn. The horns are usually used for traditional Chinese medicine.
Five poaching attempts occur in April
The last time an Indian rhinoceros was poached in the UNESCO World Heritage Park was in April 2019. In the meantime, rangers managed to avoid multiple slaughter attempts, including five last month.
Indian rhinoceroses used to be abundant in the Asian country, but only a few thousand remain due to illegal hunting. According to the last census in 2018, 2,413 Indian rhinoceroses lived in the Kaziranga Park. In addition to rhinoceros, tigers, elephants and panthers also live in the area.