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Gun battle between guards and poachers in Kaziranga
GUWAHATI, SEPT 21 (AGENCIES):
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Published on 21 Sep. 2009 11:15 PM IST
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A gun battle broke out between forest officials and poachers in Kaziranga National Park (KNP) after the killing of a tiger, rhino, and elephant. In the span of just a few days, poachers managed to kill a tiger, rhino, and elephant in India’s Kaziranga National Park. Despite an exchange of bullets between forest officials and poachers, a male rhino was killed and its horn taken away by poachers, who were involved in two encounters with foresters in the habitat of the great Indian one-horn rhino. A group of three poachers on Saturday killed a rhino with two bullets in the Burapahar Range of the Park and were hiding in its jungles to escape under the cover of darkness yesterday, KNP Director S N Buragohain said. With this, five rhinos have been killed in the KNP this year, the Park director said. On Saturday a Royal Bengal tiger also died of suspected poisoning, a new method adopted by poachers, and a male elephant migrating out of the Park was shot by poachers on Thursday, forest sources added. On learning about the killing of the rhino, the forest guards and Forest Battalion men yesterday launched a search operation against the poachers. Two encounters followed between 8.20 pm and 11 pm, sources said. The forest security personnel fired about 50 rounds from their 315 and 303 rifles at the poachers, but they fled southwards to the Karbi Anglong hills under the cover of darkness, Burapahar ranger Ikramul Mujid told PTI. Though the foresters gave a tough fight to the poachers with their 315 and 303 rifles, Mujid said they needed self loading rifles (SLR), Rapid Action security personnel and night vision goggles for better vigilance and protection of the World Heritage Site. According to the Times of India, forest officials ambushed the poachers shortly after they killed the rhino and hacked off its horn. A shootout that reportedly lasted “late into the night” unfortunately ended with the poachers escaping through the Karbi Anglong district. Barely 24 hours before the rhino was killed, forest officials discovered the carcass of a male tiger. The suspected cause of death is secondary poisoning, as up to ten cattle have died in the area after consuming grass laced with poisoned salt. Authorities believe the battle broke out between forest officials and poachers in Kaziranga National Park after the killing of a tiger, rhino, and elephant. A post-mortem examination to determine the tiger’s exact cause of death is being done by a team from the College of Veterinary Science, working with members of the Wildlife Crime Bureau. Sadly, on the same day, forest officials found the carcass of a young elephant that had been shot. The tusks and trunk had been hacked off. Officials said it had been two years since an elephant had been killed by poachers in the Kaziranga-Karbi Anglong area.

 
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