GUWAHATI, SEPTEMBER 22: On the occasion of ‘World Rhino Day 2020’, celebrations have begun across Assam, home to the majestic greater 1-horned rhinoceros which is usually found roaming in the wilds of the world-renowned ‘Kaziranga National Park.’
2020 has been marked with disasters ~ from floods, to pandemic outbreaks, to economy-crippling lockdowns ~ and the World Rhino Day presents an opportunity for the residents of Assam and beyond to join hands in their reverence and love for the rhino, which is facing extinction due to poaching.
The Rhino Day 2020 ~ a day dedicated to preserving the majestic beasts that are almost synonymous with Assam, will perhaps give the people a sense of commonality and unity of vision especially at a time when tensions are soaring over the pandemic, farm bills, and other phenomena of regional and national importance.
Assam’s Forest Minister Parimal Suklabaidya took to Twitter, where he announced that the number of rhino deaths due to poaching has nosedived in recent years, thanks to the efforts of the current BJP Government led by Sarbananda Sonowal. “World Rhino Day has been solely dedicated towards highlighting the extensive efforts for the conservation & protection of our precious rhinos worldwide,” Suklabaidya wrote in his tweet.
Data compiled by the Office of the Principal Chief Conservator of Forest, Wildlife and Chief Wildlife Warden earlier this year showed that rhino-poaching activities have significantly come down in Assam, with only 29 rhinos killed by poachers across the State during the last 4 years (from June 2016 till May 2020). While a total of 512 rhinos died during this period, 483 rhinos died due to various natural and climatic causes, revealed the data.
Assam’s Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, greeting the citizens on this special occasion, reiterated the need to protect the 1-horned rhinoceros, the state’s pride. Taking to Twitter, Sonowal wrote, “The Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros is Assam’s pride and protecting them is our responsibility. On #WorldRhinoDay, become a part of our efforts to conserve these beautiful animals and together ‘Save the Rhino’.”
Kevin Pietersen’s documentary:
This year’s rhino day celebrations was made all the more sweeter as Kevin Pietersen’s ‘Save This Rhino ~ India’ documentary was telecast on Nat Geo Wild last night at 9 p.m. The documentary, which features the former England cricketer left, right, and centre, was shot in the wilds of Kaziranga National Park, one of the chiefest habitats of the greater 1-horned rhino. The highly-anticipated documentary was set for a September 22 date, coinciding with the ‘World Rhino Day’ and offered the viewer some glimpses into the rhino conservation efforts in Assam.
Pietersen was apparently very impressed with Assam’s efforts to save and protect its valued asset, the greater 1-horned rhino, and the documentary is expected to shed some more light on the conservation process.
What is ‘World Rhino Day’?
According to the official website, World Rhino Day is celebrated on September 22 every year and this day “provides the opportunity for cause-related organizations, NGOs, zoos, and members of the public to celebrate rhinos in their own unique ways.”
With rhinos predicted to become extinct soon, there’s never been a more critical time to guarantee the future of these beautiful animals and the ‘World Rhino Day 2020’ seems like a step in the right direction. (Courtesy: The Sentinel)