Poor gift

By Deepak Gajurel
Published: Saturday 04 July 2015

The Nepalese government has 'gifted' two one-horned baby rhinos to the Zoological Society of London, UK, and has in the process, violated the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) of which the country is a signatory. Altogether, 25 one-horned rhinos from Nepal have been gifted to different countries so far.

The endangered species were trapped from the Royal Chilwan National Park in the southern plains bordering India. This species of rhinos is found only in Nepal and India. Following the government's action, conservationists are demanding a transparent policy on the practice of gifting rhinos. The CITES regulates for a clear and transparent policy for the transfer of any endangered animal for scientific study and Nepal does not have any policy in this regard.

Nepal began formal conservation and expansion of one-horned rhino with merely 60 wild animals some three decades ago and has so far, spent more than US $30 billion for wildlife conservation. At present, there are nearly 500 one-horned rhinos in this Himalayan country.

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