Oct. 25: The body of a two-and-a-half-year-old rhino calf was found in Jaldapara wildlife sanctuary this morning.
Although it was initially suspected that the animal had died because of snakebite, the post-mortem revealed that the calf died of rupture and congestion in the windpipe after it was attacked by an adult male rhino.
This morning the patrolling staff spotted the dead calf in the third compartment in the east range of the sanctuary.
“During preliminary investigations, marks that looked like snakebites were found on its face and nose. However, after post-mortem, the vets said the calf died because of serious injuries in its windpipe and internal parts of the mouth. It seems that an adult male rhino had attacked and hit it on the face,” said Omprakash, the divisional forest officer wildlife-III.
“For further confirmatory tests, the visceral samples have been collected and they will be sent to the state forensic science lab at Belgachia in Calcutta,” he added.
“It is a common phenomenon among rhinos. The females that have calves with them discourage mating which often agitates male rhinos,” said Animesh Bose, a Siliguri-based environmentalist.
“The male rhinos then chase and attack the calves. In this case, it seems that the adult male had caused severe injuries to the calf that lead to its death,” said Bose.