Poachers killed a rhino in the Kaziranga National Park on Saturday, taking the toll to 13 this year.
The bullet-riddled carcass of the male rhino was found by a patrolling party at 1.45 a.m. with its horn, nails and patches of skin taken away, Kaziranga authorities said.
The body was found between Kharoli and Borhola camp of the World Heritage Site’s Burapahar range. Empty cartridges of AK-47 and 303 rifles, rubber gloves and machetes were strewn around it, the authorities said.
The rhino was suspected to have been chased by the poachers as it was found at the borders of KNP where the animals do not normally go.
Stating a massive search operation was launched for the poachers, the authorities said forest guards and India Reserve Battalion personnel were deployed for strengthening the security arrangements inside the Park.
Meanwhile, agitated people living near the park gheraoed the officials of KNP demanding security of the animals and end to their harassment during searches that are carried out for the poachers.
They said that a 5-member group of poachers was operating inside the KNP but the Park authorities had failed to nab them and secure the live of the rhinos and other animals there.
Earlier on March one, a rhino was killed with an AK-47 rifle and its horns removed near Arikati forest camp of the park.