It runs at a rapid gallop and can do an about-turn at full speed.
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If a hunter approaches from downwind and the rhino sees movement from the corner of its eyes, it will probably lower its head and come for the hunter like a locomotive. In fact, the rhino will even sound like a locomotive, huffing and chuffing in a rather realistic semblance of a train. The irrational behavior of the rhinoceros does at times reach ridiculous proportions. A game warden in Kenya tells how he pulled a rhino out of a mud hole with his Land Rover.
The beast promptly repaid the favor by caving in the side of the vehicle. It seemed as though he blamed the vehicle for his having gotten stuck in the mud in the first place. Lately African rhinos seems to have been on a rampage to reduce the population of automobiles.
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There are regular reports of rhinos blindly charging jeeps, vans and other vehicles, keeping up the attack until they have reduced the wheeled monster to wreckage. Some have adopted an even more effective method in the one-sided war against autos. They stand near the highway, apparently waiting for a car to approach within range, and then step out into the road. For a small speeding car, a collision with a full-grown rhinoceros is like crashing into a stone wall.
One rhino attempted the ultimate conquest. In a well-witnessed and recorded incident, a large male rhino tried to take on a railroad train! Passengers were made rudely aware of the attack by a tremendous jolt.
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In addition to its tigers and rhinos, Chitwan is also home a number of other globally-threatened animals, including gaurs Bos gaurus , four-horned antelope Tetracerus quadricornis , mugger crocodiles Crocodylus palustris , sloth bears Melursus ursinus , Asiatic elephants Elephas maximus , smooth-coated otters Lutrogale perspicillata , hispid hares Caprolagus hispidus , and the Critically Endangered gharial Gavialis gangeticus. Gaur in Chitwan National Park.
Himalayas behind Chitwan National Park.
Canoeing is a popular way to see Chitwan. Pity the pangolin: little-known mammal most common victim of the wildlife trade.
This black market, largely centered in East Asia, also devoured tigers, sharks, leopards, turtles, snakes, and hundreds of other animals. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, last year. But the biggest mammal victim of the wildlife trade is not elephants, rhinos, or tigers, but an animal that receives little notice and even less press: the pangolin. Tigers and humans can coexist, says study. Wildlife corridor key to conserving tigers, rhinos in Nepal.
Yet, according to a new paper published in mongabay. During the post mortem, a dead one-month-old calf had been extracted along with a "foreign metal", possibly a bullet.
But it wasn't the gunshot that killed the elephant; in the thick teak and sal forests of the region where the eastern Himalayas melt into tea gardens, there's something deadlier than a bullet. Elephants are regularly mowed down by a metre-gauge train that runs through the wildlife sanctuaries of Mahananda, Garumara-Chapramari, Jaldapara and Buxa Tiger Reserve.
As it happened last Thursday when a goods train rammed into the mother elephant near Rajabhatkhawa in the Buxa forests.
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In November last year, former railway minister Mamata Banerjee even laid the foundation stone for the Rs crore project, scheduled to be completed by March Wildlife experts, NGOs and forest officials are vehemently opposing the project. And not without reason. The trains on the line routinely run over animals that stray onto the tracks. According to experts, the track runs through an elephant passage or a corridor, the generations-old trail used by herds to move from one habitat to another. In Mahananda, Garumara and Jaldapara, the train tracks also pass through rhinoceros and bison corridors.
As a result, these animals often find themselves face to face with a train.
And death. Since , at least 13 elephants and a rhinoceros have been run over. It has also forced the Central Government to take notice. Bist, director of Project Elephant, surveyed the area. For two days, the team travelled through the km stretch that passes through the sanctuaries.
Hunters, trains are downfall of ornery rhinos
These include a speed limit for the four pairs of passenger and one pair of goods trains that use the lines, "alterations in track" to avoid disturbance in the core areas and "putting engineering structures in place" to minimise risk to animals. Elephants are especially vulnerable since the lumbering beasts can't get out of the way in time. Trains that should ideally run at a speed of 20 kmph hurtle along at a deadly 60 kmph. In , the impact of a collision at Mongpong was such that the elephant was flung aside and killed on the spot.
Last year, in Chapramari, a male tusker was knocked down and dragged along the railroad for about 15 m.