The strayed rhino
The strayed rhino

JORHAT: A full grown one-horned rhino, which had strayed out of the Kaziranga National Park (KNP), has been creating panic among the local residents, after it entered a village near Mariani, in Jorhat district of Assam, since Wednesday morning.

The local residents said that the rhino wandered into the Nakachari Dohutia village early on Wednesday.

After spotting the rhino in a paddy field, the villagers first tried to chase it away on their own, but when it did not even make a move, they finally informed the nearby forest beat office.

When the forest officials from the nearby beat office arrived, they found it taking shelter in an irrigation canal.

The forest officials too failed to chase away the rhino from the human habitat even though they tried their best as they were not well equipped to handle such a mammoth animal.

Also read: Assam: Tiger found dead at Kaziranga national park

Finally, the KNP authorities decided of requisitioning a team of veterinary experts from the Assam State Zoo in Guwahati who are equipped with a tranquilizer gun.

By the time the experts’ team from the Guwahati zoo arrived at the spot, it was already dark, thus the rescue operation had to be called off for the day.

A few forest officials have been camping at the spot for the night to monitor the movement of the pachyderm.

Operations to tranquilize the rhino and shift it back to the park resumed on Thursday morning.

However, details are awaited.

On April 13 this year, a father-son duo was seriously injured when they were attacked by a full grown one-horned rhino near the KNP.

The incident took place, when the father and the minor son were crossing the Haldhibari animal corridor, on National Highway 37 near the KNP.

Also read: Assam: Animal sensor cameras installed in Kaziranga National Park  non-functional

According to eyewitness accounts, the ferocious rhinoceros all of a sudden came out of the forest, charged and attacked the father-son duo.

The brutal attack by the rhino left the minor boy and father grievously injured.

Both the injured were immediately rushed to the nearby Swahid Beja Baishnab Model Hospital from where they were referred to the Jorhat Medical College and Hospital (JMCH) in Jorhat for advanced treatment.  

Wild animals, especially rhinos and elephants, straying out of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, and attacking humans, either in the fringe areas of the park or on the National Highway is quite common.

According to the 2022 rhino census, KNP boasts of an estimated 2,613 one-horned rhinoceros, which is the highest in the world.

Also read: Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma accesses measures taken to eliminate poaching in Kaziranga national park