In happy news, no rhinos were poached in Assam in 2022, officials have said. This is the first time in 45 years that a rhino hasn’t been poached in the region, and it’s all thanks to a group effort between the state’s forest and police departments.
Assam, a state in Northeastern India, is home to the Indian rhino, also known as the one-horned Indian rhino. The state houses 85% of all Indian rhinos, with the majority of those concentrated in Kaziranga National Park. The remaining Indian rhinos are in other regions of Northern India and Nepal.
Chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma called it a ‘landmark’ that no rhinos had been poached in the year 2022. Sarma came into office in May 2021 as the chief minister of Assam. One of the first tasks he addressed was the issue of rhino poaching. In 2021 a special police task force with 22 police and forest department officials was created.
The task force created a database of all incidents of rhino poaching, and areas that poachers were known to enter and exit in national parks. In 2022, 58 people were arrested for rhino poaching activities.
The Indian rhino population has increased since the early 20th century, when only 200 rhinos were left. Thanks to conservation efforts the population as of 2018 was 3,588 individuals.