As many as 132 rhinos have died in the jungles of Assam since 2016, with 23 of these pachyderms being poached. While 123 rhinos had died in 2016, nine have died so far in 2017, state Forest minister Pramila Rani Brahma informed the state Legislative Assembly in response to an unstarred question on Thursday.
Among the rhinos that have died, 22 were killed by poachers in 2016 and one in 2017 so far, while the rest had died of natural causes. Highest number of 18 rhinos was poached in Kaziranga National Park in 2016, followed by two in Manas National Park and one each in Orang National Park and one outside any reserve forest area.
The lone rhino that has fell to poachers so far this year was in Manas National Park. Altogether 92 poachers have been arrested from different parts of the state in the current financial year, out of which 71 were apprehended in Kaziranga National Park and 12 and Orang National Park, the minister said in reply to a separate question.
Responding to yet another question, it was informed that 426 people were killed in attack by elephants in the last five years, including 118 people in 2015 and 92 in 2016. On the other hand, 99 elephants were killed due to human action in the last five years, with electrocution accounting for 48 such deaths and train accidents claiming 27.
Similarly, 36 leopards were killed due to human action in the past five years, including 27 in retaliatory killing. There are 2431 rhinos as per latest census conducted in 2015 in Kaziranga National Park and Manas National Park. As per latest census figures of various species, there are 5620 elephants (year of census 2011), 1169 swamp deer (year of census 2011), 167 tiger (year of census 2014) and 248 leopards (year of census 2000).
Source: Northeast Today(UNI)