By Basanta Parajuli,Bharatpur, Sept. 27: Pushpa and Anjali, two female rhinoceros from Chitwan National Park were relocated to Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve (KTWR) on Tuesday. The park’s technical team captured the rhinos, placed them in cages, loaded them onto a truck, and transported them to the KTWR.
Ganesh Prasad Tiwari, the information officer of the park, reported that they were taken into custody on Monday evening. “The rhinoceros have been brought under control and transported to Koshi Tappu,” he said. He also mentioned that both rhinoceros went directly into the cages and settled down.
Pushpa and Anjali were relocated in agreement with the decision of the Ministry of Forests and Environment, aimed at expanding the rhinoceros’ habitat in the KTWR, which had no rhinoceros before this transfer.
The two orphaned female rhinos had been nurtured by humans and previously resided in the park. The transferred rhinos will be handed over to the KTWR on Wednesday.
Federal Forest and Environment Minister Dr. Birendra Prasad Mahato, along with other officials, will participate in the handing-over event.
Pushpa, a four-year-old, and Anjali, a three-and-a-half-year-old, are two female rhinos raised at the National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC) in Chitwan. Pushpa was rescued when she was about two years old after being separated from her mother, while Anjali was only one month old at the time of her rescue. Both were released into their natural habitat by the Chitwan National Park on May 14, 2023.
During the relocation, Dr. Naresh Subedi, the Director of the NTNC, and Dr. Chirinjeevi Pokhrel arrived in Chitwan. The rhinoceros, transported in a truck, was safely delivered to Koshi with protection provided by a team from the Nepali Army.
The transported rhinoceros are currently being housed in an ‘enclosure’ located in the ‘Saptari sector’ near the Saptari district of Koshi Tappu.
To date, hundreds of rhinos have been relocated from Chitwan to various parks and wildlife reserves in Nepal. The park initiated its first transfer of 13 rhinos to Bardia National Park in January 1986. According to the statistics, a total of 91 rhinos have been relocated to Bardia National Park from Chitwan.
Additionally, nine rhinos have been relocated to Shukla Phanta National Park. Park officials have informed that this marks the first instance of rhinos being relocated to the KTWR.
Previously, 13 Arna (a local name for water buffalo) were brought to Chitwan National Park from the KTWR, but unfortunately, all of them died.
As of the 2021 census, there were 752 rhinos in Nepal, with the main habitat being Chitwan National Park, where 694 rhinos were reported to reside.