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Siliguri forest officials undertake rhino census

Siliguri, Sat, 12 Mar 2011 ANI

Siliguri (West Bengal), Mar. 12 (ANI): Forest officials in the Jaldapara Sanctuary in Siliguri, West Bengal, are currently involved in a rhinoceros census.


The census is being carried out with the help of 400 foresters and 60 elephants.


The census, using the direct sighting method, will end today.


"We have divided the whole region into small blocks. In every block, we have a team of five people to search for and count rhinos in that region," said Om Prakash Gupta, Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) of Jalpaiguri District.


Tourists will not be allowed in the sanctuary during the census.


Officials are hopeful about the rhino population increasing this year.


"The number will be around 150. This is good news for both wildlife officials and rhino-lovers. Jaldapara is not just a sanctuary. It should be given the status of a national park," said Animesh Bose, Secretary of Himalayan Nature and Adventure Foundation (HNAF), a wildlife organisation assisting the foresters in the census.


According to a census conducted in 2009, there were about 133 rhinoceros in Jaldapara.It was first undertaken in 1966 and is conducted every two years. (ANI)


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