India begins rhino census at Kaziranga National Park

Updated 2018-03-27 14:50:05 Xinhua

Indian forest authorities Monday began rhino census at the world-famous Kaziranga National Park in the northeastern state of Assam.

Officials said that Kaziranga National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has been divided into 74 compartments for the census, which is being carried out by a team of 300 government and non-government organisation officials.

"When the park was established, there were only a handful of Indian one-horned rhinoceros left. And as per the last census in 2015, there were 2,401 rhinos at Kaziranga National Park. The result of the latest survey will be known on March 28," an official said.

Faced with poaching menace, the Indian government has granted the forest guards at Kaziranga National Park extraordinary powers that give them considerable immunity from protection against prosecution if they shoot and kill poachers at the park, a power conferred on armed forces.

The sanctuary, which hosts two-thirds of the world's great one-horned rhinoceroses, is also home to large breeding populations of tigers, elephants, wild water buffalo and swamp deer.

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