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SOS Rhino : In the News : Rhino drought ends in Manas

Rhino drought ends in Manas

The Telegraph - Calcutta: Northeast

Kokrajhar, Feb. 6: There is good news for wildlife lovers, particularly those who are fascinated by the one-horn rhino.

The one-horn rhino, which was believed to have become extinct at the Manas National Park since the early nineties, has now been sighted inside the park recently.

Confirming the news, field director of Manas Tiger Reserve, Abhijit Rabha, said: "Yes, it is true that the rhino has been sighted inside the park. A pair has been was seen around Guruchara area in the northeastern side of the park recently. Besides, rhino spoor has been found at Kokilabari range."

"The speculation about the one-horn rhino being extinct from Manas Park has ended now. Now we have to see that they remain safe and unaffected," said Rabha.

Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) executive member Bishiram Narzary, who holds the forest portfolio, said he was very happy to hear the news.

"After the formation of the BTC, we have been trying our best to restore the lost glory of the park. We are glad that the number of tourists, both foreign and domestic, has risen this year, which is a good sign," he said.

Narzary, however, expressed concern over lack of interest shown by the state government towards the Manas Park.

"No funds were received for the restoration and development of Manas National Park though Union minister of state for environment and forest Namo Narain Meena in the last session of Parliament had said that Rs 158.75 lakh and Rs 13 lakh respectively had been released for Assam for Manas and Orang Parks during the financial year 2004-05," he said.

Besides, a letter from the ministry of environment and forests (Project Tiger), dated October 7, 2004, had stated that Rs 158.75 with Rs 86.25 lakh as recurring and Rs 72.50 lakh as non-recurring had been sanctioned for Manas National Park.

"But we are yet to get any information from the state government in this regard," he said.

Manas, besides being a national park, is also a tiger reserve, a biosphere reserve and a World Heritage Site.

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