Kathmandu, January 9:

Over 24 wildlife experts from different conservation organisations today decided to demand that the government hold an immediate count of rhinos. The poaching of rhinos has escalated alarmingly recently, they said.

“We have decided to ask the government to hold a fair and immediate count of rhinos in Nepal as we still lack exact data of how many rhinos were killed, died and how many remain in the conserved areas,” said Ukesh Bhuju, the chairman of the Nepal National Committee of IUCN Members. The last Rhino Count was held on March 2005, which indicated that Nepal had 372 rhinos. After that, it is estimated that 264 rhinos have been died either due to natural death or due to poaching. Meanwhile, the IUCN Nepal handed over the field gears to the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation required for the mobilization of its staffs yesterday.