Poachers claim five rhinos in three days in Northeast India

Poachers claim five rhinos in three days in Northeast India
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Yarmouth Port, MA

Five rare rhinos have been brutally poached last week near Kaziranga National Park in the northeast Indian state of Assam. When discovered, four were dead and one was still alive, bleeding and in critical state with its horn hacked off.

Efforts to treat the surviving rhino were carried out by veterinarians from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW – www.ifaw.org) as well as experts from the College of Veterinary Sciences in Guwahati. The rhino did not recover and succumbed to its injuries on the 28th of September.

“Kaziranga is currently reeling under the second bout of floods this year,” said Dr. Rathin Barman, IFAW veterinarian and Wildlife Rescue Center coordinator. “While the floodwater is receding now, these are extremely hard times for the authorities here as the animals move out of the protected area in search of higher grounds, where they fall victims to ruthless poachers.”

The five rhinos were attacked outside the boundaries of the protected area in the neighboring Karbi Anglong hills. Considering the severity of the attacks, the authorities have requested help from the Indian Army to protect the rhinos and other wildlife.

An additional displaced female rhino calf was rescued on September 23rd and taken to the IFAW Wildlife Rescue Center for long-term rehabilitation before release back to the wild.

“During these trying times, our thoughts are with the human and wildlife victims of the devastating floods in Assam and the animals that have been mercilessly killed. We encourage local authorities to continue to work hard to ensure the protection of Kaziranga’s wildlife heritage. Our vets have been constantly on call, assisting in rescuing displaced animals as they were during floods earlier this year,” said Dr. Ian Robinson, IFAW Director of Animal Rescue.

Nearly 100 animals were successfully rescued and released by IFAW-WTI vets during the first bout of floods that occurred in June-July this year. The flood became the most severe since 2004 claiming the lives of an estimated 600 animals.

Rhinos worldwide face tremendous threats of poaching for their horn. Kaziranga National Park – a UNESCO World Heritage Site holds the world’s largest population of the greater one horned rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis). 

About IFAW (the International Fund for Animal Welfare)

Founded in 1969, IFAW saves animals in crisis around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Photos available for media use at www.ifawimages.com

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