Tezpur: Poachers allegedly killed an adult rhinoceros and chopped off its horn in the famed Kaziranga National Park in Assam, taking the number of such incidents in the protected zone to three in the past one week, an official said.
The carcass of the male rhino was found near Bokpara camp under Kohora range yesterday. It was killed a night before, KNP Divisional Forest Officer Rohini Ballav Saikia told PTI.
A huge cache of arms and ammunition allegedly carried by the poachers was recovered from the park, Saikia said.
Search operations were underway to nab the poachers, who have fled with the horn, he said.
Poachers have killed four rhinos for their horns in the past one week in the park. An adult female 'Pride of Assam' was shot dead near Tunekati forest camp under Burapahar range of the UNESCO-declared World Heritage Site, followed by the gunning down of a rhino and her female calf on Saturday night.
Two rhinos were killed by poachers in the park at Hatibali Chapori in the KNP Sixth Addition area and Burapahar range earlier this year, while another 18 were killed by poachers in the park with their horn taken away last year.
Meanwhile, on Thursday night, traffic police from the neighbouring Nagaon district stopped a vehicle coming from Guwahati on National Highway 37. The driver and three persons in the vehicle fled the spot, leaving behind the car with an AK-47 rifle, a .303 rifle, live ammunition, three magazines, a number of sharp weapons, some brown sugar and three torch lights, police said.
Jakhalabandha police station officer-in-charge Deben Borah said a number of groups have tried to enter the national park area and police were investigating the matter.