Poachers allegedly broke into Assam's Kaziranga National Park, killed an adult rhinoceros and sawed off its horn, taking to three the number of such incidents in the protected zone, officials said today.
The carcass of the male rhino was found today near Bokpara camp under Kohora range of the park where it was killed last night, KNP Divisional Forest Officer Rohini Ballav Saikia told PTI.
A huge cache of arms and ammunition allegedly beonging to poachers was also recovered from the park, he said.
Search operations were launched to nab the poachers who fled with the horn, Saikia said.
Earlier four rhinos were killed by poachers for their horns during the last one week in the park where an adult female 'Pride of Assam' was shot dead near Tunekati Forest Camp under Burapahar Range of the UNESCO declared World Heritage Site followed by the gunning down of a rhino and her female calf on Saturday night at the same spot.
Two rhinos were killed by poachers in their habitat in the park earlier in February at Hatibali Chapori in the KNP Sixth Addition area and Burapahar Range in April, while 18 rhinos were killed by poachers in Park with their horn taken away last year.
Meanwhile, during routine duty last night traffic police from neighbouring Nagaon district's Haibargaon Point stopped a vehicle coming from Guwahati on National Highway 37, police said.
The driver and three persons in the vehicle fled the spot leaving behind their car with an AK-47 rifle, a 303 rifle, live ammunition, three magazines, a good number of sharp weapons, some brown sugar and three torch lights, police said.
Jakhalabandha police station officer-in-charge Deben Borah said a number of groups have tried to enter into the national park area and police are investigating the matter.