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HindustanTimes Mon,14 Jul 2014

World

Nepal rhino serving ‘jail’ term for killing man
Utpal Parashar, Hindustan Times
Kathmandu, January 28, 2011
First Published: 14:59 IST(28/1/2011)
Last Updated: 23:15 IST(28/1/2011)

Humans serving jail term for killing animals is a reality in many countries. But a rhino in Nepal is undergoing 'imprisonment' for past one year for killing a man.

Authorities at Bardia National Park in western Nepal have kept this blind one-horned rhino called Vikram in a small enclosure measuring 1 katha (720 square feet) for killing a 60-year-old priest. An orphan, the rhino was brought to Bardia from Chitwan National Park in 2002 after residents of nearby villages had badly injured the sightless animal.

Due to his blindness, Vikram, used to be popular among visitors to the park. Many used to get close to him and click photographs.

Nepal Army personnel posted at the park for security purposes and staff of Bardia National Park also grew fond of Vikram.

But that was till it attacked Man Bahadur Rana, priest of a local Hindu temple. Vikram's jail term began after the 'victim' succumbed to injuries. 

"Even we feel bad to keep such a docile animal in confinement. But we have no option because he might attack humans again if left free," the Nagarik daily quoted Ramesh Thapa, a park official. Another official stated that Vikram used to roam freely for around 15 kilometres daily inside the park. But nowadays, he just keeps moving around in the closed enclosure.

Vikram will remain in 'prison' for another 5 months after which he will be shifted to another part of park.


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