Assam Celebrates World Rhino Day In A Unique Way, Rhino Horns Seized From Poachers Duly Torched
According to forest department officials, 2,479 rhino horns were destroyed.
Today, 22 September is celebrated as World Rhino Day to create awareness for different five Rhino species. For 2021, the theme of the event is 'Keep The Five Alive', reports say. The "five" are the five species of the Rhino: "black, white, greater one-horned, Sumatran and Javan".
The Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros, also known as the Indian Rhino (Rhinoceros unicornis), a threatened megaherbivores is known for "its evolutionary persistence".
In India, the rhinoceros has withstood several challenges to its population due to poaching for the rhino horn. Assam is home to the magnificent megaherbivore and has the largest population of greater one-horn rhino. Manas, Orang National Parks, Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary and Kaziranga National Park cradle the one-horn rhino in India.
Assam celebrated World Rhino Day "in a unique way" -- by torching, "nearly 2,500 horns seized mainly from poachers over the years and stored in various treasuries of the state." The report adds that the bonfire will follow "the burning of seized drugs valued at several crores recently."
According to forest department officials, 2,479 rhino horns were destroyed besides tusks of elephants and body parts of other wild animals.
In this article, Dr Deba Kumar Dutta, "a wildlife biologist with a special interest in Indian rhino conservation", writes:
"The pan India level of rhino conservation got momentum after the adoption of the National Conservation Strategy for the Indian One Horned Rhinoceros in 2019. Before this, there was no institutionalised mechanism for designing, implementing and funding conservation strategies specifically for the rhinos, although India hosted the largest concentration of Indian rhinos in the sub-continent. It is expected that rhino strategy would help the species secure space to thrive in the lower Himalayas and foothill along the Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bhutan borders, and transboundary conservation mechanisms are critical to ensure this."
He adds that Manas National Park in Assam lost its resident rhino population "significantly during Bodoland agitation in the late-20th century". He adds in the article that the "Laokhowa Wildlife Sanctuary and Bura-Chapori Wildlife Sanctuary in Assam have lost all of their resident rhino population during Assam agitation between 1970 and 1985."
The Rhino is significant to the Indian Army, particularly to the Assam regiment. The regiment's emblem is the rhino. The war cry of the regiment is "Rhino Charge".
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