The Chitwan National Park, Nepal’s biggest natural habitat for one-horned rhinoceros, has recorded 26 deaths of rhinos due to natural causes in past one year.
This is the highest number of deaths the Park recorded in a year so far.
The Park, which was successful in maintaining zero poaching for few years, says the number of natural deaths is worrisome as it is increasing over years.
Chief Conservation Officer of the Park, Bed Kumar Dhakal, says, “This is strange that so many rhinos are dying because of natural causes.”
Therefore, the Department of National Parks and Nature Conservation has launched an investigation into these cases to find out causes of such deaths, according to him.
A six-member investigation team has been formed under the leadership of ecologist Laxman Paudel for the study.
The Park officials report that some common causes of deaths of rhinos include age, ‘labour pains’, fighting, tier attack on baby rhinos. Last year, few rhinos lost their life to a flood also.
A rhino lives up to 40 years in average.
On the other hand, stakeholders say the increasing population of the animals in the Park has created problems in proper management of the Park, posting threats to their life. The average population growth rate of rhinos in the Park is five per cent.
Meanwhile, the Park has launched a five-year project to save lives of rhinos. The project, which is expected to cost Rs 560 million, is due to expire in 2021.
Source : Onlinekhabar