Saturday, June 15, 2024

Assam: Man arrested for killing rhino in Kaziranga

A man has been arrested in Assam for allegedly attacking a rhino that eventually resulted in the death of the animal, an official said on Friday.

The one-horned female rhino died in Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve after it was attacked by Naren Saikia with a spear, director of Kaziranga National Park, Sonali Ghosh, said.

The rhino, however, fled to the forest in an injured state. Officials later tried to locate it with the assistance of drones.

“We could not trace the injured rhino until Thursday evening when its carcass was found at a place,” Ghosh said.

The attack on rhino happened on November 24. Saikia was arrested by the Forest Department two days later.

Ghosh said: “We initially arrested the accused for attacking the animal but after recovering the carcass, the charges changed.”

Saikia has now been charged under section 2 and 9 of the Wildlife Protection Act.

On November 24, at around 8.30 p.m., after hearing the rhino’s screams, some people gathered.

“When Saikia saw the villagers, he ran away, but those around recognized him. He was apprehended on the basis of information we got from the local residents,” Ghosh said.

She said even as Naren acknowledged his wrongdoing, he has not revealed the reason behind the attack.

“He acknowledges using a spear to assault the untamed animal, but it’s unclear if he intended to obtain the horn for trade. We can’t label it poaching as it can be related to consuming meat,” Ghosh added.

She claimed that some people hunt for meat because they eat the flesh of rhinos and even elephants.

“He attempted to kill the creature to obtain its entire body but he didn’t cut the horn,” Ghosh said.

Assam has seen a decline in rhino poaching in recent years, and the Kaziranga National Park witnessed zero poaching last year.

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