Assam,July 19:The one-horned rhino population in the forests of Assam has increased to two thousand six according to the latest census. Kaziranga and Rajiv Gandhi Orang National parks besides the Pabitora Wildlife sanctuary- are the natural habitat of the endangered animal. Of these, 1,855 rhinos are available in Kaziranga National Park alone. Official sources said 266 rhinos in all died in the State during last three years. 224 of them caused natural deaths while 42 were killed by poachers for their precious horns. The State Government has strengthened intelligence network in the wildlife sanctuaries to capture the rhino poachers. Sophisticated arms and communication instruments have been provided to the forest guards.
Massive awareness campaigns involving non-governmental organizations and people living near the sanctuaries have been launched to create awareness on forest animals and environment. AIR Guwahati Correspondent reports that over 35 lakh tourists registered their visit to the wildlife sanctuaries of the State within last one year. Thirteen thousand eight hundred (13,800) of them are foreign.