In a shocking revelation, the skeleton of a one-horned rhino was recovered from a dense forest inside Manas National Park in Assam on Friday morning.
The skeleton remains were found approximately 500 metres inside a dense forest area from Bansbari range in the national park. It is learned that the rhino was killed by poachers last month in May and forest officials had allegedly tried to cover up the killing.
The skeletal remains of the rhino were discovered atop charred soil, indicating that the carcass was possibly incinerated. Moreover, the horn of the deceased rhino was nowhere to be found at the spot.
The incident is a grim reminder of how rhino poaching is still active in the region, even with the relentless efforts of Assam Police which saw the state record zero rhino deaths due to poaching in the calendar year 2022.
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had on January 1, 2023 said that no rhino poaching incident took place in the year 2022 in Kaziranga and across the state. Poaching of rhinos was rampant in the past, which has now come down drastically due to stringent surveillance and other elevated security arrangements being put in by the authorities.
Last month in May, a suspected poacher was apprehended by Assam police in Rangia under Kamrup district. The police also recovered one rhino horn from his possession.
The arrested person has been identified as Zahirul Islam. A four-wheeler vehicle was seized by the police during the operation as well. Rangia police later handed over the rhino horn to the forest department.