Jul 29, 2018-The Government of Nepal plans to gift the second pair of one-horned rhinos to China at the earliest because the threat of floods looms in Chitwan.
On July 12, Nepal despatched the first pair of one-horned rhinoceros named Bhadra and Rupasi to China as gift.
The second pair awaits its flight to China, at the National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC) office in Sauraha, Chitwan. They are under experts’ care. They were captured last April at Chitwan National Park (CNP).
CNP officials have named the rhinos ‘Soltee’ (male) and the female ‘Mitini’. They are kept in an enclosure called pit booma, where they are fed and attended by staff.
The government has requested the China to receive the rhinos early because of the risk of flood in the area.
CNP Chief Conservation Officer Bed Bahadur Dhakal said, “As this is the monsoon season, the risk of floods looms large. We want to send these rhinos as early as possible. Sauraha is prone to floods; therefore we want to safely send the rhinos before anything happens to them.”
Nepal is keen to transfer this pair as soon as possible because last year floods swept away 10 Nepali rhinos to India.
It took weeks for the search team comprising CNP officials and security forces to repatriate rhinos safely back to Nepal.
Along with the CNP veterinarian team, a Chinese veterinarian has been also regularly observing the health condition of these rhinos, according to Man Bahadur Khadka, Director General of Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC).
“We have informed the Chinese side to take the last pair of rhinos. They have responded to our request and are planning to come to Nepal very soon,” said Khadka.
The DNPWC hopes the pair would be sent to China in the next three weeks.
The first pair of Bhadra and Rupasi currently resides in Chimelong Safari Park. Soltee and Mitini would live in Shanghai Zoo.
Nepal government had decided to gift two pairs of one-horned rhinos to China in July 2016 following their request during then forest minister Agni Sapkota’s visit to China earlier in the same year.