In the last one year, Kaziranga National Park frontline was able to successfully detect and recover 79 rhino carcasses with horns intact that had died due to natural causes such as old age and/or floods.
However, on January 21, 2024, the nefarious poachers were able to take advantage of the reduced water levels in the Brahmaputra River and were likely to have sneaked in with a deadly AK Rifle series weapon to strike not once but twice! and to kill two rhinos almost on the same day under the Eastern Range Agaratoli.
Informing about the development, the authorities of the Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve said, “The rhino carcass with the horn removed was detected on the early morning of January 22, 2024, the detection of the second rhino carcass within a kilometre distance was detected by the elephant patrol party on January 26. The multiple killings of rhinos on a single day have taken everyone by surprise as this was unexpected and the poachers have improvised. Thereafter, a series of forest and police teams worked in close collaboration, including the presence of senior forest officials the PCCF & CWLW Sandeep Kumar who camped at the site.”
The authorities further informed that the case was finally cracked with the arrest of Jagu Pegu and the recovery of one rhino horn, the nasal bone and the AK rifle on January 26 i.e. on Friday.
“Reconstruction of crime scene, detailed Post Mortem and DNA reports are awaited, but the nabbing of the key culprit and the recovery of one rhino horn has brought in a cheer for the swift collaboration between forest and police departments,” added the authorities in a statement.
As on today, attempt to recover the second rhino horn is ongoing.
Meanwhile, the Park authorities have further strategized and intensified their surveillance and patrolling in the park to counter the improvised method of poaching rhinos with AK rifle.
It may be mentioned that the Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve has a population of over 2613 greater one-horned rhinos, hence making it the world’s largest population in the world.