India: 2016 rhino poaching toll at Kaziranga NP hits 18, but overall park's population is rising

Nestled on the banks of the River Brahmaputra, lost to tall thickets of elephant grass, marshlands and wooded hills, is a teeming world of biodiversity: the Kaziranga National Park (KNP) in India’s northeastern state of Assam. This UNESCO World Heritage site has emerged as the global stronghold of the greater one-horned rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis).

The rolling hills and dense grasslands that allow rhinos to flourish also form an ideal habitat for their primary predator – human poachers on the hunt for rhino horn. Last month, two rhinos were killed in quick succession, taking the official toll of poaching to 18 in 2016, compared to 17 during the preceding year.

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