Poachers brutalise rhino for its horn, kill calf

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Guwahati, Jan 21 (UNI) The gory sight of a rhino being cruelly treated by some poachers for its horn outside the Kaziranga National Park outraged the people of Assam today.

Soon after the newspapers carried the photograph of the bleeding rhino with several injuries, people from all sections protested demanding severe punishment to the poachers.

Thousands of people rushed to the site this morning to see the ailing nine-feet tall female rhino, who succumbed to her injuries at 1200 hours.

The female rhino was attacked on Saturday night outside the Kaziranga National Park, famed for its one-horned rhinos. Some miscreants shot at the animal, gouged out her horn and left her bleeding profusely. They even killed her young calf and mutilated its face in search of the horn.

Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi had expressed shock over the incident and instructed the forest minister and concerned authorities to take necessary action against the criminals and stop poaching, official sources informed.

''We tried a lot to save the rhino but in vain,'' forest officials regretted, adding that about four rhinos were killed in the past 20 days.

''Last year 21 rhinos were poached inside Kaziranga and this rampant illegal activity can be stopped only with a huge political movement. Some statements and phone calls will not help,'' renowned environmentalist Bibhab Talukdar of 'Aranyak' stated.

Principal Chief Conservator of Forest( Wildlife) M C Malakar also expressed serious concern over the whole episode.

''This is absolutely alarming as the poachers are either from Nagaland or Manipur, who take the help of the local immigrants surrounding the park to carry out the operation,'' Mr Malakar added.

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