68 Rhinos poached in Assam in five years

Guwahati, Jul 15 : As many as 68 rhinos have been poached in Assam in the last five years, Forest Minister Rockybul Hussain informed today.

Replying to separate questions in the state Assembly, Mr Hussain said the highest number of rhinos poached in the last five years was in 2007, when 21 pachyderms were killed.

In 2006, nine rhinos were poached, 16 in 2008, 15 in 2009 and seven in 2010, he added.

The minister said the rhino census in 2009 had recorded a total of 2201 rhinos in the state.

He further informed that altogether 2853 forest guards are employed in the state.

Of them, 655 were employed in the nine wildlife divisions of the state and 2198 in the territorial division.