20 October, 2020

Got A Gun And Thick Skin

A poaching spurt at Kaziranga this year points to a global syndicate

Got A Gun And Thick Skin
Death By Numbers
  • Ten rhinos have been killed already this year at Kaziranga, as opposed to the five all of last year
  • Poachers executing stealth operations, using upgraded weapons
  • Rhino horns, known for medicinal and aphrodisiacal properties, sell at upwards of Rs 3 lakh a kg.
  • Since there is no local market for rhino horns, they have to be sold outside. Poachers have to have international linkages at some level.


Life usually is a peaceful haven for the Great Indian one-horned rhino (rhinoceros unicornis) at the famed Kaziranga National Park in eastern Assam. But sometimes the stillness of this Eden is rent through by sudden violence—and another unsuspecting pachyderm falls prey to predatory poachers, succumbing either to gunshots or falling into a pit carefully laid out for it.

It was no different last fortnight at the makeshift jetty along the Dhunsiri river, near the park. Park director S.N. Buragohain, ranger...


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