After public outrage, government forms committee to probe rhino death in Chitwan

A one-horned rhinoceros had died in Chitwan on Sunday after falling into a pit at the East-West Highway.

NL Today

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Kathmandu: The government has formed a committee to probe into the death of a rhinoceros that died after falling into a pit on the Hetauda-Narayanghat road section along the East-West Highway on Sunday.

Issuing a press statement, the Ministry of Forest and Environment (MoFE) said that a five-member committee led by Dr Rajendra KC, deputy director general at the Department of Forests and Soil Conservation, will submit a report to the government within 10 days.

The decision comes after the government authorities were heavily criticized for leaving a pit open in the national park area.

The 10-year-old rhino died due to the grave negligence of authorities concerned, the Chitwan National Park (CNP) has said.

“The sheer negligence of the authorities concerned resulted in the death of an endangered rhino. The death could have been avoided if the authorities concerned had not left the pit open in the national park area,” said Bhupendra Basnet, central committee member of Bibeksheel Sajha party, who is also former secretary general of Nepal Forum for Environmental Journalists (NEFEJ).

In the current fiscal year, 21 one-horned rhinoceros have already died in the Chitwan National Park. Of them, two were killed by poachers, while others died due to natural causes.