In a mockery of the so-called tight security arrangements, poachers killed yet another one-horned rhino in Assam’s Kaziranga National Park as British royal couple Prince William and Kate Middleton were spending the night at a resort near the national park.
“We recovered the carcass of a rhino from the Burhapahar range of the park on Thursday morning. The poachers took away the horn,” a park official said on condition of anonymity.
“There were about five poachers in the group last night (Wednesday). Our guards heard gunshots from the range and launched an operation immediately,” he said.
“The group of poachers fired and our guards retaliated. However, they managed to cut off the horn and flee,” he said.
This was the seventh rhino killed in the national park this year.
Park director M.K. Yadav was, however, not available for comment.
The Assam government had issued strict instructions to the park authorities to ensure that no untoward incident takes place during their stay.
The incident took place while the British royal couple was spending a second night at the Difflo River lodge, adjacent to the national park. Will and Kate had arrived Tuesday evening at the 12-cottage jungle resort where they stayed, and were entertained by a presentation of traditional Bihu dance. The Assamese New Year of Bihu began Wednesday, a time of song, dance and merry-making among most of the state’s 31 million people.
On Wednesday morning, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had visited the Bagori range of the park, 30 km from the Burhapahar range.
They later interacted with forest guards on anti-poaching measures.
The royal couple left for Bhutan on Thursday morning.