Rhino poaching down to nil in CNP; death by natural causes escalates

CHITWAN: Chitwan National Park (CNP) witnessed 'zero poaching' of endangered one-horned rhinoceros in the fiscal year 2074/75. However, death of the rhinos by natural causes has increased recently.

According to CNP Assistant Conservation Officer and Information Officer Nurendra Aryal, no rhinos have been poached since the poachers killed one in Belhaththa Hariyali Madhyavarti Community Forest, on April 7, 2017. Officer Aryal said that the security management has become stronger with the increase in public awareness of wildlife conservation.

Natural causes including locking horns with one another, delivery failure, sweeping by flood, sinking in quicksand, wound infection and ageing, among other causes led to the death of 26 rhinos in the fiscal year 2074-75, Aryal informed.

At least four rhinos died in flood havoc and by getting stuck in quicksand, in July, last year, while three others died due to failure in delivering babies, and the rest owing to locking horns with one another.

Likewise, the natural causes led to the death of 24 rhinos in the fiscal year 2073/74 and 15 in 2072/73.

With the increase in natural death of the endangered species, the CNP has taken initiative to study the causes and possible solutions to evade the untimely death of the rhinos. CNP Chief Conservation Officer Bed Kumar Dhakal said that it was important to prevent untimely deaths in order to maintain the growth of rhino population.

Meanwhile, a team of ecologists dispatched from the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation in Kathmandu has been studying the factors that cause the death.

There are a total of 605 one-horned rhinoceros in the CNP as per the last census.