KATHMANDU, July 11: A couple of one-horned rhinos named Rupasi (female) and Bhadra (male) to be gifted to China has been brought to Kathmandu to transport them to China. They will be sent to China on Thursday.
The rhinos were transported all the way from Chitwan National Park (CNP) in Chitwan.
Before their departure to Kathmandu last night, a farewell program was organized on Tuesday to say them a goodbye. The transported rhinos have been kept in the National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC) at Khumaltar in Lalitpur, and preparations are on to send them to China, said Chief of the NTNC, Sauraha Ram Kumar Aryal.
On July 10, 20016, the government had decided to gift two couples of rhinos to China. Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli had announced the wildlife gifts for China during his visit to the northern neighbor at the time of his first premiership.
“The rhinos have brought to Kathmandu a day before their transportation to China keeping in view difficulties and road obstructions on the way,” said Bed Kumar Dhakal, Chief Conservation Officer at the CNP, who also accompanied the rhinos all the way to Kathmandu.
The team faced no such problems during their transportation.
The couple, aged around two years, fed on grass, banana, cabbage, apple and water on the way to Kathmandu. A 10-member squad headed by captain Shivaram Khadka of Nepal Army Batukdal Battalion based in the CNP escorted the rhino couple to the central capital. Two trucks (Na 5 Kha 7996 for Bhadra and Na 7 Kha 1270 for Rupasi) were used to bring them here. They were placed inside wooden enclosures on the trucks.
A technical team led by CNP chief Dhakal, NTNC chief Aryal, veterinary doctors, wildlife technicians and a three-member Chinese delegation who had arrived Nepal earlier to receive the gift had accompanied the couple.
Rupasi and Bhadra will be sent to the northern neigbour via a special cargo craft.
Rupasi and Bhadra are to be released in the Chimelong Safari Park in Guangzhou of China. CNP senior veterinary doctor Dr Kamal Gaire’s team is to accompany the rhino couple to China to instruct the Chinese team about the ways for rhino caring.
The team which includes NTNC veterinary technician Kiran Rijal, wildlife technicians Tirtha Lama, Dip Prasad Chaudhary and Binod Rai will stay in China for sometimes.
Another couple of rhinos to be gifted to China are presently in Chitwan. They are likely to be sent to China in the next fiscal year as per the government decision.
Bhadra was captured from the western part of the CNP on April 28, and Rupasi from Sukhibhar area on April 30.
So far, Nepal has gifted 26 couples of rare one-horned rhinos to various countries. This giant animal is found only in Nepal and India. The latest census put the number of this animal at 645 while Chitwan is home to 605 rhinoceros alone.