Rhino carcass in Manas National Park: Authorities say infighting caused death

The authorities turned down the possibility of any attempt of poaching behind the rhino’s death

Carcass of a rhino (Photo: IANS)
Carcass of a rhino (Photo: IANS)


A one-horned rhino carcass was found at Assam’s Manas  National Park and Tiger Reserve, officials said on Wednesday.

However, the authorities turned down the possibility of any attempt of poaching behind the rhino’s death.

Vaibhav Mathur, the director of Manas National Park and Tiger Reserve told IANS, “It was a female rhino which was actively monitored. It got injured due to infighting with a male rhino a few days ago and after July 23 it was not detected during the daily inspection of the forest staff.”

Later, the carcass of the rhino was discovered on July 31 night.

“The nasal bone of the rhino was intact and therefore there were no chances of a poaching attempt being made on the rhino,” Mathur said.

The long Bodo agitation in Assam had an opposing impact on the state’s Manas National Park and Tiger Reserve. During that time, this National Park was under severe threat, and rhinos were completely wiped out from the park.

Along with the unrest, a lot of other things were also happening in Manas that actually violated the Standard Operation Procedures (SOP) laid down by the NTCA to run tiger reserves in the country.

Mathur said; “Night stays were happening in the core area, making noises within the forest, plying of the numerous private cars, vehicles from Bhutan were using Manas as a highway, etc. All of these resulted in the tigers and other animals leaving Manas National Park.”

However, since the return of peace to the Bodoland region, Manas National Park and Tiger Reserve has been slowly recovering its earlier position.

“There are around 55 rhinos, most of them were shifted here either from Kaziranga National Park or Pobitora sanctuary. During the monsoon floods in Kaziranga, a few rhinos became orphaned and they were taken care of by the forest authorities. Later, they were sent to Manas National Park,” the officer added.

The authorities of the park used radio collars to identify the rhinos. Along with that camera trapping, transect distance sampling techniques prescribed by the National Tiger Conservation Authority were used to keep a watch on the rhinos here.

“Since the rhino population was not so high, we also used the direct sitting procedure, where the rhinos are watched by the forest staff on a daily basis and they report it in the evening,” Mathur said.

“However, the rhino which unfortunately died, has been missing in direct sighting since July 24 and it sent a worrying signal.”

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