Guwahati: A day after the Kaziranga National Park was opened for this tourist season, forest guards Saturday recovered a one-horned rhino`s carcass with its horn missing.
Park officials said the rhino carcass was spotted during patrolling in Agaratoli range of the forest. The carcass bore bullet injuries and its horn was chopped off by suspected poachers, the forest officials said.
Friday, Forest Minister Rockybul Hussain opened the park for this tourist season and inaugurated the jeep and elephant safaris. The authorities have pressed into service at least 17 elephants for the safari. A total of 120 tourists, including over 60 foreigners, visited the park on its opening day.
"The carcass bore bullet mark injuries and its horn was chopped off, indicating it to be a case of poaching. However, the rhino was killed Wednesday," said park director N.K. Basu.
In another development, forest guards along with police have arrested three poachers, involved in killing the rhino two days back. The police have also recovered one .303 rifle and some ammunition from their possession.
Police said the three, including one from Nagaland, confessed to their involvement in killing the rhino. Police investigation is on to recover the horn.
This is the 24th rhino killed inside the park this year. Although the Assam government chalked out several strategies to stop poaching of the one-horned rhino inside the protected areas of Assam, the government efforts are yet to bear fruit.