Saturday, 28 September 2019

Suspected poacher killed in shootout with police and forest guards in the Orang National Park in Assam, India.

A suspected poacher has died following a shootout with police and forest guards in the Orang National Park in Assam State, India, on Saturday 28 June 2019. The man was found injured in the small hours of the morning after a standoff between a gang armed with guns and an anti-poaching patrol that began the previous afternoon. He was rushed to a nearby hospital but died of his injuries. A .303 riffle with a silencer, several rounds of ammunition and an axe were also recovered from the scene. The patrol was launched to look for the gang after park officials received a tip off that they had entered the park with the intention of hunting Rhinoceros. The dead man has not yet been identified. The rest of the gang escaped under cover of darkness.

A .303 riffle recovered from a suspected poacher killed in a shootout with police and forest guards in Assam on Saturday 28 September 2019. Deccam Herald.

The Orang National Park is home to a small population of Indian One-horned Rhinoceros, Rhinoceros unicornis, a species listed as Vulnerable under the terms of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species. Indian One-horned Rhinoceros were once found across much of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Southeast Asia and south China, but the species has been heavily hit by habitat loss and hunting, and is now only found in parts of Nepal and the Indian states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, and Assam. Like other Rhinoceros species the Indian One-horned Rhinoceros is still hunted for its horn, which has a high black market value, placing the species at risk even in heavily protected parks.

An Indian One-horned Rhinoceros, Rhinoceros unicornis, in the Kaziranga National Park in Assam. Gnoseph/Flikr/Wikimedia Commons.

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