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SOS Rhino : In the News : Stray rhino kills two

Stray rhino kills two

  From correspondents in Gauhati, India
The Daily Telegraph
November 30, 2003

A STRAY rhinoceros gored and killed two farm workers and injured another on a river bank in north-eastern India today, police said.

The animal killed one person on the spot and injured two others, one of whom later died in a hospital in Gauhati, the capital of Assam state.

Wildlife officials were trying to trap the rhino, which was now roaming the area, police said.

Officials believe the animal came from the Pabitora Wildlife Sanctuary, home to nearly 90 one-horned rhinos.

It apparently entered a river and was swept about 30km downstream to a settlement, they said.

The world population of one-horned rhinos is around 2200. In the past four years, poachers have killed at least 70 in Assam state.

The animal's horn - used in traditional Asian medicine to treat illnesses from fevers to nosebleeds - can fetch thousands of dollars per kilogram.

India's government says separatist guerrillas in the north-east are involved in a flourishing but illegal wildlife trade to raise money for weapons and explosives.