An adult male rhino, on 16 November, was killed by poachers in Kaziranga National Park in Assam taking the toll to 15 this year, a forest department official said. The rhino was shot at and critically injured by poachers near Tunikati forest camp under Burapahar Range of the World Heritage Site along NH-37, said Divisional Forest Officer of KNP, Suvashish Das.
Forest guards of the Park heard gun shots around 1am and launched a search operation in the area leading to the recovery of the injured rhino, Das said. They rushed a team of veterinary doctors to treat the pachyderm but it succumbed to bullet injuries, the DFO said.
On 19 October, another rhino was killed and its horn taken away in Kaziranga near Balipukhuri forest camp in Agratoli Range of the Park.
On 18 June, another rhino was killed on the day when the state DGP was there to hold meetings in the Park's Kohora Range office with KNP officials and security personnel, Forest Department officials, Village Defence Party (VDP) personnel and police officers, on ensuring security and safety animals there.
On 6 June, a female adult rhino was killed by poachers and its horn taken away at Agratoli Range on the day state's Forest minister Pramila Rani Brahma and two other ministers, accompanied by top Forest Department officials, were on a tour of the KNP in the wake of frequent killings of rhinos.
In April, during British Royal couple William and Kate's visit to the Park, a male rhino was shot dead by poachers using AK-47 assault rifles. On 1 May, poachers had killed an adult male rhino in the Park and took away its horn.