Rhino kills Forest staff in Kaziranga National Park
In a tragic incident, a Forest staffer succumbed to his injuries on Saturday night after a rhinoceros attacked him inside the Kaziranga National Park (KNP) thereby raising the issue of physical fitness and safety of such wildlife staff.
GUWAHATI: In a tragic incident, a Forest staffer succumbed to his injuries on Saturday night after a rhinoceros attacked him inside the Kaziranga National Park (KNP) thereby raising the issue of physical fitness and safety of such wildlife staff.
The deceased identified as Moheshwar Hazarika, a game watcher in the national park, was attacked by the pachyderm while patrolling at Siga highland in the Agoratoli range of Kaziranga on Saturday night.
Director of the Kaziranga National Park & Tiger Reserve, P. Sivakumar informed that Hazarika succumbed to his injuries on the spot and was brought dead to the Bokakhat Civil Hospital.
Dr Bibhab Kumar Talukdar, CEO of Aaranyak — a leading NGO working in the field of wildlife — told The Sentinel that it is very tragic to lose the life of frontline wildlife staff working in national parks and wildlife sanctuaries while on duty.
"Working in wildlife areas is always challenging; and often, it is not lucrative for most of the frontline Forest staff due to hard life and diverse challenges they have to face while serving in such habitats. We need to look at the fitness of all frontline Forest staff working in such challenging situation," he said.
Dr Talukdar said that ex-gratia should be disbursed to the immediate family members whenever such death occurs. He also said that the last meeting of 'State Board of Wildlife, Assam' chaired by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal had decided to enhance ex-gratia for the frontline Forest staff working in wildlife areas from the existing Rs 4 lakh to Rs 20 lakh.
"We hope that the State Government will soon give ex-gratia at the new enhanced rate to the immediate family members of Moheshwar Hazarika," he said.
Dr Talukdar pointed out that the safety of human resources in the national parks and wildlife sanctuaries is an important matter, adding that the time has come to initiate periodic safety-protocol measures for the frontline Forest staffers to reduce the deaths of such staff due to the attacks by wild animals.
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