PM Modi hails Assam for the reduced number of rhino poaching

In the 85th episode of Mann Ki Baat, held on January 30, Prime Minister Narendra Modi mentioned two animal species, very important to India. On one hand, the PM praised the conservation efforts of Rhinos that have led to a decline in rhino poaching in Assam, on the other, he acknowledged the unique tributes paid to Collarwali- the supermom tigress of Madhya Pradesh. 

Rhino poaching reduced over the years

https://twitter.com/PBNS_India/status/1487676061408456710 Speaking of Rhinos, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that in 2013, 37 and in 2014, 32 rhinos were killed by poachers (Assam). To tackle this challenge, a huge campaign against the poaching of rhinoceros was launched in the last seven years with the special efforts of the Assam government.  Between 2000 and 2012, a total of 82 rhinos were poached in the state. In 2021, only one case of rhino poaching was reported from Kaziranga National Park, when the carcass of an adult male rhino was found with a missing horn. However, the number of hunting cases has seen a decline over the years in the state. The numbers further decreased to 17 in 2015, and further to 7 in 2018. In the past 3 years i.e, 2019, 2020, and 2021, only 3, 2, and 1 cases were reported respectively. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had previously commended Assam’s effort in rhino conservation in September 2021 in his Mann Ki Baat episode when on the occasion of World Rhino Day, the Assam Chief Minister had directed to burn the stockpile of 2,479 single-horned Rhinos.  Rhinos are often hunted due to the myth that rhino horns have medicinal value and can be used for medicinal purposes. As mentioned by PM Modi, the declining numbers are a result of forest officials’ efforts and the Government’s initiatives. The State Government has also formed Anti-Poaching Task Force (APTF) to keep a check on rhino poaching in Kaziranga National Park. 

Anti-poaching actions

The Assam Forest Department undertook several steps including increasing the number of forest guards. In addition to forest guards and police vigilance, the State government also encouraged the local villagers to play an active part by prompting information to authorities in case of strange movements, to put a stop to the hunting of rhinos.  Furthermore, the government also decided to increase the ration allowances for forest protection forces, create additional posts for the protection of wildlife, fastened flood preparedness and animal safety measures, and more. Also, the government has taken urgent steps to punish the poachers against whom charge sheets have been filed. Among other things, training of forest personnel, provision of satellite phones, and weapons have been made to tame the poaching acts.  A farewell of a different kind https://twitter.com/PBNS_India/status/1487675462620831746 In addition to talking about the rhinos, PM Modi also mentioned about the special tribute paid to collarwali, the supermom tigress who died recently. PM Modi said, “A glimpse of our ‘Sanskaras’ was seen recently when a tigress left the world in Pench Tiger Reserve of Madhya Pradesh…People performed her last rites, bid her farewell with full respect & affection.”  “Collarwali” had given birth to 29 cubs, the most by any tigress in the world. It was she that Madhya Pradesh’s Pench Tiger Reserve was adjudged the best tiger reserve. Collarwali or T15 born in 2005 was 17 years old when she died. She was radio-collared in March 2008, after which people started calling her by her popular name.  On her demise, the people of the village gave her a fitting and respectful farewell as if she was one of them, an act that is seldom seen in history. 

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