Sunday, 10 September 2017

India and Nepal team up to rescue flooded rhinos

by Moushumi Basu on 5 September 2017

At least 15 greater one-horned rhinoceroses have been swept across the Indo-Nepal border by this year's monsoon floods.

Officials from both countries have worked together to find and rescue the flood-swept animals.

The floods pose great dangers for rhinos, but highlight the progress made by cross-border conservation initiatives between India, Nepal and Bhutan.

The devastating monsoons hitting South Asia this year haven’t just affected the region’s human populations. At least 15 greater one-horned rhinoceroses (Rhinoceros unicornis) have been swept across the Indo-Nepal border from Nepal’s Chitwan National Park to the adjoining Valmiki Tiger Reserve in the Indian state of Bihar, a distance of some 100 kilometers (62 miles) by water. Two of these ended up being carried further still, to the Sohagi Barwa Wildlife Sanctuary and Khushinagar Forest Division in Uttar Pradesh.

Monitoring them closely is a mammoth team of about 300 forest personnel from Valmiki, joined by 50 Nepalese forest and security officers. After more than twelve days of searching — much of that spent on elephant-back scouring water-logged forest — five rhinos had been rescued and released back to Chitwan as of August 27, including a two-year-old male rescued on August 26. The bodies of two dead rhinos were also found.

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