Nearly 2,500 rhino horns weighing around 1,300 kg have been set afire in large pyres in India's northeastern state of Assam to mark the World Rhino Day.
NEW DELHI, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- Nearly 2,500 rhino horns weighing around 1,300 kg have been set afire in large pyres in India's northeastern state of Assam.
The move on Wednesday was to mark the World Rhino Day. The horns destroyed were seized from poachers and illegal traders, or recovered from dead rhinos in the state's national parks and wildlife sanctuaries since 1979, said a state government official.
Assam is home to around 70 percent of the total population of one-horned rhinoceros in India, where official data show the number of rhinos is currently more than 2,900. Approximately 75 percent of the entire rhino population in India is found in the three states of Assam, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
"Timely efforts and stringent protection and management of the government of India and the state governments have revived the population of rhinos in the country over the past few years," said an official at India's Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
India's federal government has taken measures over the past years to protect the rhino population and increase the distribution of the species.
According to a media report, in 2005 Assam's forest department joined the federal government's ambitious Indian Rhino Vision (IRV) 2020 program, which helped re-introduce rhinos to one of its historical range area, the Manas National Park.
"In 2005 when the program was designed, the protected area had no rhinos in the wild and in 2018, the rhino population in the park stood at 36," said the media report.