Two rhinoceros adults and one calf were gunned down by poachers in Assam’s Kaziranga National Park in 48 hours since November 2. The poachers chopped off the horns of the adult rhinos, The Indian Express reported.
The first incident of poaching took place late on November 2. Poachers used AK-series weapons to shoot down an adult rhino in the Burrapahar range. Forest guards recovered 28 rounds of used AK-47 bullets from the spot.
The second incident, in which a mother and her calf were killed, took place around 11.30 pm on November 4, in the same Burrapahar range of the National Park. Guards heard gunshots and launched a search operation. They found carcasses early the next morning, Divisional Forest Officer Rohini Ballav Saikia told Mongabay.
Kaziranga is home to at least 2,500 greater one-horned rhinos, the world’s largest population of the species, listed as vulnerable by the IUCN. The killings come at a time when the park was making progress in curbing poaching, with just two other rhinos lost to poachers so far in 2017, Saikia told Mongabay.
“With the loss of these three rhinos, the toll of poaching this year is five. It was 18 in 2016,” Sakia said.