Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Last Updated: 21 May 21:03 PM IST
10 February 2013
JORHAT, 10 FEB: A crackdown against poachers is under way by a joint team of Assam police, IRBN and forest guards in Burpahar range of Kaziranga National Park.
Armed with sophisticated weapons, the security forces launched the operation at 2 a.m. today at Kukurakota area of the range, forest department sources said.
A battalion each from the India Reserve Battalion (IRBN) and state police, with 100 personnel of the forest department, including guards, have fanned out in the interior areas of the rhino habitat to net poachers.
Security measures have also been tightened inside and along the park’s boundary to prevent entry and attacks by poachers in the 430 sq kms World Heritage Site situated in Golaghat district of upper Assam, the sources said.
The crackdown was launched in the wake of poaching of eight rhinos in KNP since January this year. Rhino horn is prized for its aphrodisiac properties.
The state government has decided to divide KNP into four divisions under separate divisional forest officers to strengthen the management system and boost operational efficiency.
Meanwhile, a male elephant of the forest department that had killed its mahout in Kaziranga National Park last month was kept in isolation after it attacked another mahout with its tusker.
According to forest sources, the elephant Babul in a state of “musth” attacked Dikhudhar, the pachyderm with the largest tusk in the state, along with its mahout Kalia Dey yesterday when it was about to be tranquilised.
“Musth” is a periodic condition in male elephants which is characterised by highly aggressive behaviour and accompanied by a surge in the reproductive hormone testosterone making the jumbos violent toward humans and other elephants.
Babul was, however, tranquilised later and segregated from the other elephants. He had, on 29 January, suddenly thrown his mahout Nirmal Barman off its back and trampled him to death. pti