Representational image.

Guwahati: The population of one-horned rhinoceros has increased by five in the last four years in Assam’s Pobitora National Park.

Located in the Morigaon district, the park has recorded an increase of the one-horned species from 102 in 2018 to 107 now.

“A total of 107 rhinoceros were counted, which is an increase of five rhinos over the last count of 102 conducted in 2018,” Jayshree Naiding, Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) of Guwahati Wildlife Division said.

The sanctuary, spread over 38.81 sq km, underwent a rhino census that began on Tuesday and concluded on Wednesday with the finding that the rhino population has gone up by five.

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Of the 107 rhinos, 30 are male, 50 female and 27 are calves.

“The Pobitora National park was divided into nine unequal-sized blocks for the census. Eleven enumerators and nine observers from the forest department and various organizations visited the blocks separately on elephant back and recorded the data on direct sighting,” said Amit Sahai, principal chief conservator of forests (PCCF) and head of forests force (HoFF).

He added that the increase in rhino population in the parks and sanctuaries is a good sign for the state as it will take tourism opportunities to the next level.

 He said a significant drop in poaching as a result of various steps taken by the forest department is also a reason behind the increase in the rhino population.

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