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Two poachers arrested for rhino killings in Assam

ANI  |  Golaghat (Assam) 

Two poachers were arrested over the weekend by forest department officials in Assam's Kaziranga wildlife sanctuary for attempting to poach single-horned rhinoceros.

A country-made 303 rifle with a silencer was recovered from the arrested poachers Naren Doley and Bimal Pegu.

The two poachers belong to a nearby area and the authorities believe that these arrests would lead to the busting of an entire racket of poachers in the region.

"The problem is most of these activities are committed on the peripheries of the park. But we hope that there will be many more arrests in this connection," said N. K. Basu, the park's director.

Kaziranga is home to a vast number of the famed and endangered species of wildlife in state and these include the one-horned rhinos and tigers.

This year around 16 one-horned rhinos were killed in Assam, of which at least 11 were killed inside the Kaziranga Park by poachers.

There were 2,329 rhinos in the park, according to the latest census.

Meanwhile, the CBI had registered three cases relating to rhino poaching during 2012 in and around Kaziranga.

Recently, the Indian wildlife authorities' introduced the aerial drones equipped with cameras, to check rampant poaching.

To protect the one-horned rhino, wildlife authorities in have even deployed armed guards, but they have often proved ineffective before the organised gangs of poachers, who continue to strike down the rhinos.

Rhino horn is in great demand in China and Southeast Asia as it is believed to possess aphrodisiac qualities, which are used in traditional medicines and allied concoctions.

First Published: Mon, May 20 2013. 15:33 IST