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SOS Rhino : In the News : One-horned rhino count rises to 96 in Indian wildlife sanctuary

One-horned rhino count rises to 96 in Indian wildlife sanctuary

  The Mercury
Online Edition

May 4, 2005

Calcuta: The endangered one-horned rhino population in India's Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary had risen 14% in the last two years as an anti-poaching drive continued to yield results, an official said yesterday.

The sanctuary, 650km north of Calcutta, in the eastern Himalayas, now has 96 of the animals, up from 14 in 1985.

India's Wildlife Department began a programme in 2001 to get local villagers to act as guards, which led to the arrest of a ring of four poachers, forest officer Kalyan Das said.

Das said poaching was still a problem as people sought to make money from selling rhino parts, including the horn, for medicines.

India is under fire from conservation groups for failing to protect a dwindling population of tawny Royal Bengal tigers and other endangered animals throughout the country.

Experts say only 3 600 tigers are left, compared with 40 000 six decades ago, which prompted Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to set up a force to catch poachers this year. - Sapa-AFP

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