On Wednesday, the Assam government burnt almost 2500 rhino horns that were seized from smugglers and poachers in the last decade in a ceremony at Bokakhat. Horns were put on fire by the Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.
Why were horns burnt?
To bust myths linked with it and prevent poaching of the animal those horns were put to flames in six giant furnaces. On the occasion of World Rhino Day this was performed. However, the state government agreed to destroy 2,479 horns of rhinos while for academic purposes 94 horns will be kept.
Who was present at the event?
At the event, Himanta Biswa Sarma with several ministers and senior forest department officials among others were present.
However, the highest population of one horned Rhino (Rhinoceros unicorns) in the world is in Assam. Mostly they are found in Kaziranga, Manas and Orang National Parks also in Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary, with about 2,600 individual rhinos.
Earlier they were found in Laokhowa Wildlife Sanctuary and some other parts of the state from Goalpara in the west to Dibru-Saikhowa National Park in the east.
Assam forest minister’s views
Assam forest minister Parimal Suklabaidya said: “Never before such a huge stockpile of one-horned rhino horns have been consigned to flames thus spreading the message loud and clear that rhino horns are no aphrodisiac and the myth has to be busted to put an end to poaching of the majestic & magnificent rhinos once and for all.”
He further adds “The exercise is a milestone towards rhino conservation aimed at busting myths about rhino horns.”
When was it decided?
The Assam cabinet in September 16 unanimously decided to publicly burn 2467 pieces of rhino horns out of 2,623 rhino horns stored up in state treasuries. Also decided that 94 rhino horns will be preserved as heritage pieces for public viewing and academic purposes.