The rhino horn verification committee (RHVC) has found one of the world’s largest horns – possibly the heaviest – of the one-horned rhino in central Assam’s Nagaon treasury on Tuesday.
Records revealed the horn, found in August 1982, was from a rhino in the Bagori range of Kaziranga national park. An RHVC spokesperson said the horn weighs 3.051 kg and is 36 cm in height.
The outer curvature length of the horn is 45cm and inner curvature 38cm while the base circumference is 60cm.
“The British Museum in London has the only recorded horn bigger than the one in Nagaon treasury. But the weight of the museum horn, found in 1909, was not recorded. We think the one we verified today (Tuesday) is the heaviest,” the spokesperson said.
The day saw the RHVC completing the verification process of 210 rhino horns, four of which were brought from treasuries of two other towns – Jorhat and Diphu. The panel’s next stop is Morigaon where 22 horns from the nearby Pobitora wildlife sanctuary are being kept.
RHVC was set up after wildlife activists sought to know if the rhino horns kept in treasuries were genuine or fakes replaced by officials after selling off the real ones. The committee decided to verify the horns kept since 1980, but activists said horns preserved before 1980 should also be accounted for.
Some activists said the horns should ideally have been destroyed and not preserved in treasuries. “Preserving horns gives the wrong signal to poachers and traders of illegal animal body parts. Destruction devalues the horns and discourages poachers from taking risks,” Soumyadeep Dutta, an activist, said.