Kathmandu, Sep 15 (PTI): Around 50 calves of one-horned rhinoceros from Nepal’s Chitwan National Park might have swept across the Indian border in the recent monsoon floods.
Severe flooding has devastated communities and destroyed crops in India, Nepal and Bangladesh.
“Around 50 calves of rhino are born every year, and that many calves along with their mothers might have been washed away in the disaster,” CNP’s Chief Conservation Officer Ram Chandra Kandel.
Three rhinos were killed in the flooding, he said.
Chitwan National Park is the largest rhino conservation centre of park of Nepal.
So far eight rhinos that were swept away in the disaster were rescued and returned to the CNP, he said.
The Chitwan National Park (CNP) has proposed a rhinoceros count next year, breaking the regular routine of conducting a rhino census in every four years. Last time the count was conducted in 2015.
A rhinos, which was washed in the calamity, is stranded in Narasahi in Nawalparasi and another one is at Tribeni with its calf.
The rhinos were swept away by the extensive floods triggered by the incessant rainfall in August. Most of the rhinos were rescued from the Indian area are adult rhinos.
According to the park employees, the rhinos in the park are in a chaotic condition as they were washed away from their habitat to new places by the floods.
Even the rescued rhinos are feeble and in a emaciated condition as they went without food and post-disaster trauma for nearly three weeks.
Chief Conservation Officer Kandel said that they were proposing to hold a rhino census in 2018 for determining the exact rhino population in the park after the flooding.
As per the 2015 rhino census, the number of rhinos in the park was 605. Eight rhinos were shifted to Bardia and five to Shuklaphanta wildlife reserves in the western Nepal from the CNP in the subsequent years.
The park is also planning to hold a tiger census to ascertain the tiger population as they were also washed away by the flood. Hundreds of herbivores, including wild boars, deer and spotted deer among others were also killed in the recent floods.