Anti-poaching ‘Operation Great Hunt’ launched

Chitwan, March 28

The Nepali Army, Chitwan National Park, and the local community have concertedly launched an operation against poaching of rare wild animals in the park, dubbed ‘Operation Great Hunt’.

Nepali Army personnel are patrolling around 2,000 square kilometres of the park on a daily basis.

The drive against poaching is run every year for six months, and NA personnel patrol the park round-the-clock during this period. At other times, the NA patrols around 1,500 square kilometres of area in the park daily.

‘Operation Great Hunt’ began on December 30, 2016, after Shree Jung Gan Kasara was assigned the duty of guarding the park.

Information Officer Nurendra Aryal at Chitwan National Park said that as many as 63 persons who had illegally entered the park to collect firewood and grass were arrested, and fines amounting to Rs 32,000 was collected from them before they were released.

Similarly, seven persons who were fishing illegally were fined Rs 6,500 before they were freed. Three persons were arrested for killing a chital. Each person was released on a bail amount of Rs 177,300 each on general date.

As many as 12 persons were arrested for felling saal trees without permission inside the park. They were freed on bail amount of Rs 362,994 each.

Aryal said that 24 tractors and three trucks found to be in the park illegally were held, and subsequently their owners were fined and released.

An additional 100 NA personnel have formed six groups, installed base camps, and are patrolling the park.

According to Thapa, NA personnel from Bharatpur, Birgunj, and Rautahat, and dogs from Bhairab Bahan Gula have been used in the great hunt.

Thapa said that they had added human resources to the NA’s military intelligent support and strengthened information network.  The park’s patrol is connected with real time patrol monitoring system.

The park’s Chief Conservation Officer Ram Chandra Kandel claimed that the Great Hunt campaign had been successful in stopping poaching and excavation of river and forest-borne materials.