KATHMANDU: Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli handed over a couple of rhinos to Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Yu Hong amid a programme in the capital, today.
Nepal gifted the rhinos — Bhadra (male) and Rupasi (female) — as per government’s decision made some two years ago. Of the two couples of rhinos to be gifted to the People’s Republic of China, another will be handed within next month.
Speaking at the event, PM Oli said that presentation of rhinos to China would help further consolidate historic ties between the two neighbouring countries, as reported in Rastriya Samachar Samiti. He expressed hope that the rhinos would be reared in a good environment.
On the occasion, Minister for Forests and Environment Shakti Bahadur Basnet stated that gifting the rhinos was of multidimensional importance and maintained that it would further promote Nepal’s identity in the global arena.
He stated that bilateral relationship would further deepen between the two countries by this gesture, which would also contribute towards the conservation of wildlife and biodiversity.
Aged between 1-2 years, Bhadra weighs around 900 kg while Rupasi weighs around 1,200 kg, according to the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation.
The rhinos will be sent to the northern neighbour via a special cargo plane that will arrive in Kathmandu this evening. This rare species of mammals are to be released in Chimelong Safari Park in Guangzhou of China, according to the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu.
At the programme, Chinese Ambassador Wu Yong acknowledged the rhino couple as a special gift to the Chinese government and expressed her confidence that they would grow under suitable conditions, considering China to be their home.
Envoy Yong stated that bilateral meetings between the two countries and such exchanges would further augment the bilateral relations.
So far, Nepal has gifted 26 rare one-horned rhinos to various countries including India, USA, Japan, Thailand and Austria among others. Nepal is home to 645 rhinoceros while Chitwan alone houses 605 of them, according to the latest census.
Also present at the programme were House of Representatives member and former minister Agni Prasad Sapkota, National Planning Commission member Krishna Prasad Oli, Secretary at the Ministry of Forests and Environment Bishwanath Oli, Department’s Director General Man Bahadur Khadka, Acting Chief of Army Staff Purna Chandra Thapa, Chiefs of Nepal Police and Armed Police Force, Nepal among others.