Jorhat: A male adult rhino was killed and its horn taken away by poachers in Kaziranga National Park in Assam in the wee hours today taking the rhino toll to 20 this year, said a forest official.
On hearing seven gun shots near Naharkatoni Forest Camp under Kohora Range of the Park after mid night, the KNP forest guards launched a search operation and recovered the carcass of the rhino this morning, Kohora Range Officer Rupak Bhuyan told PTI.
The carcass with its horn sawn off was recovered on the bank of river Dipholu on the southern side of the World Heritage Site, Bhuyan said.
Stating that the carcass bore several bullet wounds, he said a 303 rifle, eight empty and six live cartridges, an axe, two pairs of shoes and an empty liquor bottle were recovered from near the body.
The poachers were suspected to have come into the Park through river Brahmaputra, the forest official said.
A search operation has been launched to track out the poachers, Bhuyan added.