Mobile boat camp for Kaziranga

- UK charity equips park with a river patrol device to curb poaching
Guwahati, April 25 : Tracking the movement of poachers along the mighty Brahmaputra on the northern fringes of the Kaziranga National Park might just get a little easier for the forest guards, thanks to a new facility making its debut in the game sanctuary.
The park, known worldwide for the one-horned rhino (Rhinoceros unicornis), today got its first mobile boat camp — a facility that will allow forest guards to keep better vigil on the river along the northern boundary of the park through which poachers frequently operate.
The boat camp — equipped with a powerful motor for high speed — was presented to the park authorities today by the BBC Wildlife Fund in association with the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation and Aaranyak, a local NGO.
The BBC Wildlife Fund had raised money from wildlife lovers in the United Kingdom for improving the security of rhinos at the Kaziranga National Park.
Patrolling on the Brahmaputra is considered the most difficult task among anti-poaching activities in Kaziranga because of the large area the small boats have to cover.
Bibhab Talukdar, the secretary general of Aaranyak, who was present in the hand-over ceremony today, said that a minimum of eight guards could stay on the boat camp.
“Small boats are not strong enough to negotiate the turbulent Brahmaputra. This one is strong and also has good speed,” he said.
The custom-made wooden boat is fitted with wireless sets and also has walkie-talkies for effective communication.
The boat also has enough space for carrying provisions, which would allow the guards to spend days together on water.
“There are no major camps along the entire stretch of the northern boundary of Kaziranga and this boat will be very useful in tracking the movement of poachers,” Suren Buragohain, the director of the park, said.
The latest rhino census had put the number of rhinos at 2,048.
Mary Nugget from the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation said the organisation had faith on the Kaziranga authorities to protect wildlife from all challenges.