GUWAHATI: The discovery of a one-horned rhino’s carcass at Manas National Park on July 31 has ignited a heated debate between conflicting reports, raising concerns about the safety of wildlife in the region. The carcass was found in the Kahitama Beat of the Bhabari range, and while park officials believe the rhino may have succumbed to injuries from a fight with another rhino, local residents suspect a darker truth – poaching.
The Deputy Director of the reserve confirmed the discovery, which followed an extensive search effort by park personnel. According to monitoring records, the female rhino was last reported alive on July 23, shortly after an alleged confrontation with a bull rhino.
The contradictory accounts between park officials and local residents are fueling suspicion. While the forest officials assert the rhino’s death resulted from an inter-rhino battle, the locals accuse poachers of committing the crime and claim authorities are attempting to conceal the illicit activity.
A postmortem examination on the carcass revealed an undeveloped horn with decomposing tissue mass over the nasal bone. The absence of any metallic objects in the body suggests the horn was not forcibly removed, supporting the theory of death due to natural causes, specifically infighting. Nevertheless, the local community remains unconvinced and demands a thorough and impartial investigation.
Adding to the concern, just two months ago, two other rhino skeletons were discovered within the national reserve. Moreover, locals fear that three more rhinos might be missing from the area, raising alarms about the safety and effectiveness of conservation efforts in the region.
As the debate over the rhino’s death continues, wildlife conservationists and authorities are urged to collaborate and ensure complete transparency in the investigation. The controversial discovery of the one-horned rhino carcass serves as a poignant reminder of the challenges faced in preserving our natural heritage.