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SOS Rhino : In the News : Caught in horns of dilemma

Caught in horns of dilemma

[ THURSDAY, MARCH 11, 2004 02:24:46 PM ]
The Times of India

NEW DELHI : A conduit with four horns of endangered one-horn rhinos has been caught sometime last week by policemen in Kakori thana near Lucknow .

The information, however, was kept secret by both the chief wildlife warden (CWW) in Lucknow and the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) here.

Asked for details, CWW Mohammad Ahsan said he would only confirm the news after two days, but did not justify why he would take so long to confirm a news. The MoEF think-tank were not accessible on Wednesday, as important officials, who have authority to speak to the press, were "travelling".

The news has exposed chinks in the MoEF's wildlife protection and enforcement management, said the MoEF insiders on condition of anonimity.

After a steady fall in trade in the rhino horns from 1990 (36), last year only one horn was seized from a conduit who was working for a clandestine poacher group in Assam . The current haul of four horns speaks volumes about our foresters' style of functioning.

The highest number of rhino horns, 53, were seized from conduits of poachers was in 1992. From that year the cases were steadily falling as the numbers in 1993 was 45, in 2000 it was 14, in 2001 nine, in 2002 five and in 2003 only one case.