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Rhino slaughter breaks KP heart

Kevin Pietersen

Guwahati: "SICKENING!", former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen has tweeted with a picture of a rhino killed by poachers in Kaziranga National Park.

"INDIA -this has just happened in the last couple days in KAZIRANGA National Park!" said the tweet.

The national park lost its fourth rhino this year on May 11 when a rhino was poached at the Burahapahar range.

This is the second time the 1980-born England batsman Pietersen has raised the rhino poaching issue since October last year.

The cricketer has set up his own website, SORAI - Save Our Rhino in Africa and India, and India, for rhino conservation.

His website says rhinos are under extreme threat worldwide and every eight hours a rhino is slaughtered.

"KP has been a passionate advocate of this serious environmental issue and has dedicated his public image and global identity to this issue to support the wellbeing of these beautiful animals, a significant contributor to tourism in both countries," the website said.

Considered to be one of the finest and flamboyant batsmen to have played the game, Pietersen turned out for 104 Tests and 136 ODIs for England, scoring over 8,000 and 4,400 runs in both formats before he was dropped from the team owing to his outspoken nature and differences with the management.

He had even been part of the Indian Premier League.

CEO of Aaranyak Bibhab Talukdar told The Telegraph, "He should make an appeal to users of rhino horn not to use rhino horns for the purpose for which they are using. He is an important public personality and his voice will be heard. That will be an important contribution towards global rhino conservation from his side."

Wildlife conservationist Kaushik Barua said, "This is not the first time he has shown concern for rhinos. He earlier played with a bat with black stickers of rhinos on it to create anti-poaching awareness. Wish there were more of his kind," he added.

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