5 rhinos go missing from Dudhwa
By Neha Shukla, TNN | Jan 5, 2013, 03.21 AM IST
LUCKNOW: At least five rhinos have gone missing from the Dudhwa national park. Though the forest department officers are tightlipped about the incident, wildlife enthusiasts have voiced concern over their disappearance.
"Frantic search is on for the rhinos, missing for the past four days. The area has been cordoned off," said a Dudhwa official.
When TOI tried to contact Dudhwa director Shailesh Prasad, he hung up. His deputy, too, could not be reached for a comment on the development all through the day.
While Dudhwa officials went incommunicado, local residents informed TOI that a few days back a rhino had ventured out of the cramped range of 25 sq km, where 29 of them have been put together. Officials, however, hunted it back to its moorings.
But, what has happened of the five others who have gone stray is not known. Dudhwa is prone to poaching due to its proximity to Indo-Nepal border. Whether the rhinos have fallen prey to hunters is also not known.
From regional extinction to being overpopulated within 25 square kilometre confinement in Dudhwa National Park, rhino has registered a comeback of sorts on the wildlife map of Uttar Pradesh. From none till 1984 to 29 now, their number is fairly good in the state.