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Forest guard kills rhino in self-defence in Assam’s Kaziranga

A team of forest guards patrolling the Agratoli range of the national park was attacked by the pachyderm.

india Updated: Sep 21, 2017 11:53 IST
Utpal Parashar
Utpal Parashar
Hindustan Times, Guwahati
Rhino killed,Kaziranga National Park,Agratoli range
The rhino seen in the picture died in Assam’s Kaziranga National Park on Wednesday after a forest guard opened fire at the animal that attacked a patrol team(HT Photo )

A forest guard inadvertently killed an adult rhino in the Kaziranga National Park on Wednesday when he opened fire in self-defence to scare away the pachyderm, which had attacked a patrol team.

This is the second such incident in the past 12 months in Kaziranga--the biggest habitat for the species. Last year, an adult male had died in a similar manner.

Forest guards patrolling in the Agratoli range of the park spread over 430 square km were attacked by the adult male rhino, forcing them to retaliate. A bullet fired by one of the guards hit the rhino.

“Since the attack was sudden and from close range, the guards didn’t have time to flee and one bullet from a rifle hit the animal,” said Satyendra Singh, the park’s director.

The animal was soon treated by veterinary doctors at the site of the incident but it succumbed to the injuries late on Wednesday night.

“Rhinos attacking forest guards on duty isn’t new in Kaziranga. This year itself, one guard has been killed in a rhino attack and four others have been injured,” informed Singh.

As per 2015 figures, there are around 2,400 rhinos in the park. But every year, many fall prey to natural disasters like floods and poachers bullets.

This year’s floods have claimed 31 members of the species---which is one less than 2016. Incidents of deaths due to poaching have been considerably less this year---only two recorded till date.

First Published: Sep 21, 2017 11:03 IST