The ongoing killing of Assam’s pride one-horned rhinoceros has now crossed all the limits. At the time when several organizations are criticizing the government and the forest minister for their failure in protecting the species, all are overlooking the fact that despite their protests and hooliganism, poacher’s guns have not stopped touting. And in this way, they will never.
No doubt that one-horned rhino is a property of Assam and its pride, but the most important fact that underlie is, it is playing a major role in balancing the ecosystem by its existence. We all are aware that rhinoceros is a prehistoric animal next on the line to the dinosaur, which already left the earth before we came. The ongoing poaching is now taking the species near to extinction and the day is not far when our coming generations will get to know and see it in the books alone. And on the other hand, we can’t deny a vast change in the ecosystem due to the extinction of rhinoceros. As it has been already proved that poaching is not going to stop despite our protests and shouting’s, it’s time to find an alternate way.
When it comes to finding an alternate way, I would like to take the readers to Africa. Almost every one of us must be aware that Africa is the home to two-horned rhinoceros. And there was a time when it was a feasting ground for poachers. But by the use of transmitters to geo-track the rhinoceros, poaching of the species reduced to a great extent. Geo-tracking the rhinoceros helps in preventing them from entering the poachers dominated areas. On the other hand, another step taken alongside this was the dehorning process. One of the most successful people in dehorning the rhinoceros is John Hume of South Africa, who implemented the project in an outstanding manner.
Dehorning of rhinoceros is a very easy process and can be carried out in a very humane way without harming the animal. Cutting the horn 80mm above the flesh by tranquilizing it causes no blood flow and no change in its lifestyle has been noticed to date. Here, I would like to inform the esteemed readers that the Chairman of ULFA Dr. Abhijit Asom appealed for it a few months back. But, unfortunately, no one took up the matter seriously, not even the several organizations which are protesting on the street now. In his e-mail to the media, the chairman also requested the concerned officials to create awareness among the people on dehorning. He also mentioned storing the sawn of the horn in a methodical way by photographing and indexing them so that the fate of the horns can be traced easily in the future. The third point which he mentioned was on disposing the horns legally and using the generated revenue for conservation of fauna in the state. But the third one needs more debate on it as disposing the horns and using of the revenue collected can lead to another big corruption in these already corrupted state of ours. It needs to be mentioned here that this same idea of dehorning was conveyed to the then Chief Conservator of Forest by a non-resident Assamese way back in 1994.
One another job that can be done with the horns after dehorning is reducing them to ashes in a way transparent to the public of Assam. This will also create awareness among the public and a message can be conveyed to the whole world from the land of one-horned rhinoceros that the horn is of no use. It is just a bunch of hairs tied together naturally.
People from all parts of the world should come forward to save the species from sure extinction. And more emphasis should be given on the dehorning process as it is the only process now which can ensure the survival of the animal. Organizations like Nature’s Beacon, PETA, Peoples for Animal etc should put pressure on the government as well as global organizations like the United Nations to take up the necessary steps. Apart from this, he said organizations should also create awareness among the people on it.
The most important aspect which needs to be realized and highlighted now is that the killing of rhinoceros will not only take Assam’s pride away from it but can also create a vast change in the cycle of life. So, now it cannot be termed as a problem of Assam or something related only to Assam. It is now a matter of global concern and only the awakening of people across the globe can save the world from getting imbalanced.