Assam: 2479 Rhino Horns To Be Burned Today On World Rhino Day

Assam: 2479 Rhino Horns To Be Burned Today On World Rhino Day

As many as 2479 seized horns of the Greater One Horned Rhinoceros are consigned to be flamed during a historic event in Assam's Bokakhat today on the occasion World Rhino Day.

The event will be held in Bokakhat stadium where the burning committee will burn the rhino horns on six giant gas furnaces, each with three tiers. Later, the ashes will be mixed with concrete and be made into several slabs to be displayed at Kaziranga National Park.

Out of a total of 2693 horns, 2479 have been selected for burning, 94 reconciled horns are to be preserved based on size and soundness of architecture, and 29 are to be kept for ongoing court cases. While the longest horn is from Kamrup Treasure, the heaviest has been recorded from Nagaon.

"This act in a State having 71% of world's population of One Horned Rhinoceros shall send a strong message to poachers that the horn is of no medicinal value and it's trade is completely illegal based on pure myths, with no scientific backing, rhino horn is used in traditional Chinese medicine," an official release by the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife), Assam stated.

"Due to demand in some countries, poaching pressure on rhinos is ever persistent and it is intended that consigning rhino horns to flames will dispel these myths and send a strong message across the world. This is also a best practice to promote wildlife conservation and nowhere in the world has an exercise of such scale been undertaken in respect of the horns of dead Rhinos," it further added.

Before selecting the horns for flaming, a committee chaired by the Chief Wildlife Warden, Assam, with the help of a technical committee and seven respective zonal committees carried out an elaborate process of reconciliation of rhino horns stored in these seven treasuries.

The process was carried out in presence of civil society members, members from non-governmental organizations, media, police, and district administration officials.

"The entire process is as per provision of Section 39(3)(c) of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, wherein, a public hearing had also been carried out on 29 August 2021," the release stated.

The decision to flame the seized rhino horns was taken by the Assam Cabinet on September 16, 2021.

Abstract of Rhino horn reconciliation –

  • Rhino horns reconciled: 2623
  • Rhino horns marked for destruction: 2479
  • Rhino horns marked for preservation: 94
  • Horns implicated in court cases: 29
  • Genuine: 19
  • Fake: 10
  • Fake horns reconciled: 21
  • African horn reconciled: 15
  • Longest horn recorded: Anterior curvature = 57 Cm. Standing Height: 42.5 Cm.
  • Heaviest horn recorded: 3.05 Kgs.
  • Average standing height recorded: 13.77 Cm
  • Average weight of horns: 560 Grams.
  • Average basal circumference: 43.47 Cm
  • Weight of rhino horns for destruction: 1305.25 Kgs.
  • Weight of rhino horns for preservation: 131.05 Kgs.

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