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Indian Poachers turn to Nepal

Killing of four poachers inside Kaziranga National Park in north-east India last month was hailed as a major action against poaching of endangered one-horned rhinos.

world Updated: Jun 15, 2010 01:50 IST
Utpal Parashar

Killing of four poachers inside Kaziranga National Park in north-east India last month was hailed as a major action against poaching of endangered one-horned rhinos.

But the incident may have led to deaths of several rhinos to poachers bullets in Nepal's Chitwan National Park. That is what forest authorities in the Himalayan nation seem to think.

"When there is pressure on poachers in Kaziranga, they turn to Chitwan and vice-versa," Minister for Forests and Soil Conservation, Deepak Bohara, told Hindustan Times on Monday.

Within three weeks of the Kaziranga incident, three rhinos were killed by poachers inside Chitwan leading everyone in Nepal including the government and wildlife activists to sit up and take notice.

Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal held a meeting with security chiefs and officials from forest, defence and home ministries on Sunday to discuss the issue and take action.

Another round of deliberations took place on Monday where officials from the finance ministry and organisations like WWF Nepal were present.

According to official figures, 28 rhinos have died in Chitwan in the past 11 months.

After Kaziranga, which has the largest number of one-horned rhinos, Chitwan has the biggest concentration of the species. But rampant poaching has put the animal's existence at risk.