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SOS Rhino : In the News : Watch out! There's a rhino on the run

Watch out! There's a rhino on the run

[ THURSDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2004 12:35:08 AM ]

LUCKNOW: A wild rhinoceros has strayed into the Fareedpur village of Bareilly from the forests of Dudhwa National Park and has created a scare among the villagers.

In its bloody trail which started from the dense forests of Lakhimpur Kheri district, this massive creature in its voyage of over a few hundred kilometers, has killed a person besides extensively damaging the standing crop.

The menacing creature is reported to have killed a person on October 25 last in the Dubaha village in Lakhimpur district. Two days later another person was attacked and grievously injured in the area.

A team of six personnel from the Dudhwa National Park was deputed to navigate the rhino back to its natural habitat but unmindful of being monitored, the rhino proceeded for Sitapur district where forest department officials with help from experts from Assam and West Bengal made a futile bid to tranquilise and transport the animal back to Dudhwa.

Sources in the forest department said that the rhino was tranquilised in a sugarcane field in the Batpur village of Sitapur. Once the animal was unconscious, it was shifted in a wooden crate especially designed for transportation with the help of a crane. While it was being transferred into the crate, the experts noticed that the animal was sinking.

To revive it, an antidote was immediately injected and within minutes the rhino gained consciousness. It broke the crate and disappeared in the nearby agriculture fields.

From Sitapur, the rhino’s next destination was Shahjahanpur where it stayed in the fields for over a fortnight before moving to Bareilly where it is presently believed to be hiding in the sugarcane fields for the last about 15 days.

The six-member monitoring team from Dudhwa National Park has gone back and despite repeated requests from the forest officials of Bareilly division, they have not returned to continue with their monitoring work, rued an official from the department.

Wildlife experts are of the firm view that a second attempt to tranquillise the animal can be made after a gap of 90 days, else there could be a serious threat to its life. On being contacted, the Chief Wildlife Warden Mohammad Ahasan admitted that the second attempt could only be made after three months.

"We are keeping a close watch on its movements and efforts are on to drive it back into the forests of Pilibhit from where it would be driven to its natural habitat," said the CWW.

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