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11.10.09

Forest officials have been able to locate the rhinoceros found
missing from the Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary near Siltorsha river in
West Bengal's Jalpaiguri district.


The forest officials saw the rhinoceros roaming near the Siltorsha
river on Friday.

The rhino had fled the sanctuary's monitoring camp at night on
Thursday, where it was being given medical aid for the injuries caused
in fight with other rhinos.

The rhino had hurt his left leg, horn and left eye and was being kept
under observation by the sanctuary veterinarians, when it fled the
camp.

After conducting a rigorous search for the animal in the vicinity, the
forest officials found the rhino roaming near Siltorsha river.

The rhino appeared to have strayed into a village and the villagers
had pelted stones on it, prompting the animal to flee towards the
river.

"This rhino was injured due to infighting among themselves. We could
detect it three days back. Then we were tracking it and monitoring it
constantly," said Manindra Chandra Biswas, forest conservator,
Jalpaiguri.

The officials later pressed in the elephants to drive the rhino away
from the river into the forest area.

According to the officials, it is the breeding season for the rhinos
and such fights are a common occurrence as male rhinos compete to win
over the female.

The endangered animal, whose number has been rising in Nepal and
India, is found mostly in Assam and in Nepal.

Poaching is the main threat to the survival of rhino, which is
illegally killed for its horn and other body parts.

Rhino horns are believed to have aphrodisiac qualities and are sold
for a high price in China and other Southeast Asian countries.

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