Authorities in Nepal have arrested two rhino killing suspects.
Nepalese news portal The Himalayan Times reports that Chapang has been involved with at least a dozen rhino killing incidents and is on the “most wanted” list.
Of the two, Chapang is facing about a dozen charges of poaching rhino’s horn. He is on the most wanted list of the Chitwan National Park administration.
Police arrested the suspects during a raid on a house in Chalise of Gajuri VDC-2 of Dhading district. The two will be turned over to the local area Forest Office for sentencing.
Nepal’s divisional forest offices have a track record of handing out serious penalties for rhino crimes.
Greater one-horned rhinos in Nepal
One of the three Asian rhino species, greater one-horned rhinos (Rhinoceros unicornis) were once widespread throughout the northern floodplains and nearby foothills of the Indian sub-continent between Indo-Myanmar border in the east, and Sindh River basin, Pakistan in the west.
Nepal’s most recent rhino census found that the population of greater one-horned rhinos has increased to 534. The count was conducted in April 2011, and revealed an increase of 99 rhinos since the last count in 2008.
Chitwan National Park was found to have 503 rhinos, while 24 reside in Bardia National Park, and Shukla Phanta Wildlife Reserve holds seven of the precious pachyderms.
Today, the remaining 2,949 (includes the new census) greater one-horned rhinos are found only in a few protected areas in northeastern India and lowland Nepal.
Traditional medicine myths continue to threaten rhinos
Although the greater one-horned rhino population is steadily increasing, these rhinos remain under threat of being killed for their horn.
Despite the fact that extensive scientific analysis has confirmed that rhino horn has no medicinal value, myths and superstitions about rhino horn persist throughout China and Vietnam, where rhino horn is considered a key ingredient of traditional Chinese medicine.
How to help
To learn more about our efforts to help support public awareness activities in Nepal, check out Update from Nepal: A Successful Year of Raising Public Awareness About Rhino Conservation.
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