Nepal marks zero rhino poaching year in 2015

CHITWAN: A special function on Sunday observed a function to mark the ‘Zero Rhino Poaching Year -2015’.

In the year 2015, no any case of rhino poaching was recorded in the nation.

This is the third year that no case of rhino poaching has been reported in the country. Prior to this, the years 2011 and 2013 were marked as the years without the cases of rhino poaching.

Minister for Forest and Soil Conservation Agni Prasad Sapkota was the chief guest of the Zero Rhino Poaching Year-2015 celebration held in Sauraha of Chitwan today. The Wildlife Crime Control Coordination Committee arranged the programme.

On the occasion, Minister Sapkota said celebrating the zero rhino poaching year was a great achievement and it gave a message that collective efforts led to the success in every sector. The achievement boosted the country’s pride internationally, he added.

Likewise, eight organisations and 13 wildlife conservationists dedicated to the rhino conservation were honoured.

Rhino conservation drive is going on in the country with the joint participation of Nepal Police, Nepal Army, Local and nature conservationists.

The Chitwan National Park of Nepal and the Kaziranga National Park of India are major habitats for one-horned rhinos. The number of one-horned rhinos was estimated to stand at 800 in the 1950s, but this number went down to just 80-100 after 75 years.

The recent rhino counting shows that there are around 645 rhinos across the country and the CNP alone is home to 605.

Forest Ministry's Secretary Udaya Chandra Thakur had presided over the programme while Joint-Secretary Bishwanath Sinha, CNP Director General Phadindra Raj Kharel, Central Investigation Bureau's Manoj Neupane, National Trust for Nature Conservation's Govinda Gajurel and World Wildlife Fund's Santoshmani Nepal were also present on the occasion.