Rhinos to go through adaptation process before being gifted to China

Kathmandu, January 2

The government is all set to prepare two pairs of one-horned rhinoceros for their new habitat before gifting them to China.

According to the Ministry of Forest and

Soil Conservation, the rhinos will be kept separately in Chitwan National Park to induce behavioural alteration so that they may easily adapt to their new habitat in Shanghai and Guangzhou of China.

Although their movement would not be restricted, they would be fed artificially. The government had decided to gift two pairs of one-horned rhinoceros to China on July 10, 2016.

Chief at Biodiversity and Environment Division at the ministry Dr Maheshwor Dhakal said,

“We need to prepare the rhinos for their semi-wild habitat in China. They would be handed over to China after the behavioural alteration process completes in six months.” He said the rhinos to be gifted to China would be captured in the next two weeks.

Earlier, Nepali conservationists’ team submitted a report last year approving Shanghai and Guangzhou as  suitable habitats for rhinos.

Before Nepali team’s observation, a five-member Chinese team had visited Nepal’s major rhino habitat in Chitwan in January 2017.

It has been said that in Shanghai, the gifted rhinos will be kept in Safari Park, and in Guangzhou, the rhinos will be kept in a research centre.

As per the 2015 census, there are 645 rhinos in Nepal. Upon request from Chinese Forest Minister Zhang Jianlong and other Chinese officials, then prime minister KP Sharma Oli had issued instructions to forward the process of gifting rhinos to China during former forest minister Agni Sapkota’s China visit in January 2016.

As per the 2015 census, there are a total of 645 rhinos in Nepal. Of them, 605 are in Chitwan National Park alone. According to conservationists, gifting of the rhinos to China would pave the way for future collaboration in wildlife conservation between the two countries.