Chitwan, April 13
Chitwan National Park, popular for the rare species of the one-horned rhino, has witnessed zero rhino poaching in the year gone by, thanks to the steps taken for its protection by the concerned authorities.
Having lost many rhinos to poaching during the Maoist insurgency, the national park has adopted a new strategy for rhino protection in recent years. This has borne fruit. Except for a single case of poaching in May 2014, poaching of the rare species has been nil so far.
Again, against the poaching of up to 38 rhinos in a single year during the conflict period, just three rhinos have been poached since 2010.
“As it was on May 2, two years ago when illegal hunters killed a rhino here, we will be lucky to mark two years in a row as zero poaching year if we manage to prevent any poaching by the same date this year,” said Assistant Conservation Officer Narendra Aryal at the national park.
Further, Aryal attributed the success in curbing poaching to the increased security posts and use of modern technology.
“Back then, we had to face huge criticism from within the country and foreign countries for failing to save the rare species. So we did the needful and have got positive results,” Aryal said.
As per the latest count, there are a total 645 one-horned rhinos in four national parks and wildlife reserves. Of them Chitwan is home to the largest number of rhinos at 600, with Bardia National Park, Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve and Parsa Wildlife Reserve having 34, eight and three of them respectively.
Meanwhile, Wildlife Week 2073 (2016 AD) has kicked off at Chitwan National Park Office in Kasara.
Chitwan national park conservation officer Ramchandra Kandel along with Buffer Zone Management Committee Chairperson Madhukar Thapa Malla and Battalion Chief Madhav Thapa of Shreejung Battalion, an army unit assigned for the national park’s security jointly inaugurated the week.
A version of this article appears in print on April 14, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.