In what might bring cheer to conservators and wildlife lovers, Pabitara wildlife sanctuary, which just spans 48 square km, has recorded 102 one-horned rhinos.
A census carried out in the sanctuary on Sunday recorded presence of 102 rhinos compared to 93 recorded in the last census carried out in 2012.
P Boruah, Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), Wildlife Division-Guwahati said, ” In this census, we have found out that there are 102 rhinos in the 48 sq km area of Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary. It is the densest habitat of one horned rhinos in the world.”
“The number of growth is encouraging. We have recorded presence of 102 rhinos today. Apart from this, six rhinos have been killed in and around the park since 2012 and 20 of them died their natural deaths,” said a senior official of the sanctuary.
“In the last six years, six rhinos have been shot dead by the poachers while twenty others had natural death. The sanctuary was badly affected by the floods in the year 2017, but after the repair work, there has been heavy turnout of both domestic and foreign tourists this year,”Boruah added.
The forest official said that the rhino census is a regular exercise carried out after every six years. While the last census of the one-horned rhinos were carried out in 2012, the department had undertaken another rhino census in 2014 after the a devastating floods had affected the whole of the state, particularly the Kaziranga national park.
The one-horned rhinos are one of the most tourist pull for the state. The northeastern state is known for its one-horned rhino population density, which is the highest in the world. While majority of the rhinos in the state are in Kaziranga national park, rhinos are also found in Pabitora wildlife sanctuary and Manas national park.
Although Kaziranga national park located in Golaghat district is much frequented by domestic and foreign tourists for its rhino population, Pabitora, located within a 30 km radius of Guwahati also provides spectacular opportunity for the tourists to witness the majestic animal.