In setback to wildlife conservation in Indie as many as 102 one-horned rhinoceros have been poached and killed in the country since 2008. This exposure came after a data obtained under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. Meanwhile, 209 poachers arrested for the crime, revealed the RTI. According to data provided by the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB), Assam tops the list where the maximum killings of 84 one-horned rhinoceros have been killed. West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh are the two other states which have reported such killings, with 17 and one deaths, respectively, during the period, says the data.
Ranjan Tomar, Noida-based lawyer, had sought state-wise data on the number of one-horned rhinos killed by poachers in the last 10 years and offenders arrest from the WCCB. Wildlife Crime Control Bureau, under the Ministry of Environment and Forests, is a statutory body formed to combat organised wildlife crime in the country. In a written reply the WCCB said “As per data available in the records of the bureau based on the information from the state forest and police departments, 102 one-horned rhinos have been killed and 209 poachers have been arrested in the last 10 years in India.”
The Indian rhino or the Greater one-horned rhino are found in the Indo-Nepal terrain and northern West Bengal and Assam, according to the NGO World Wildlife Fund (WWF), India. The total population of the one-horned rhino, the fourth largest land animal, is 3,500 in India and Nepal combined the WWF states on its website. Year 2013 and 2014 witnessed the maximum killings (22 each year), followed by 11 in 2010, eight in 2015 and 2009, seven in 2011, 2012 and 2018, five in 2016, three in 2008 and two in 2017.