Darjeeling: With the number of rhinoceroses steadily on the rise in Jaldapara and Gorumara National Parks, the Indian one-horned rhinos are all set to get two new homes in North Bengal.
Increase in population has resulted in less grazing area in Jaldapara and Gorumara in Dooars. Clashes between the animals are also occurring more frequently.
The Forest department has since long been working on new homes for the rhinos. Rasmati Jheel in the Patlakhawa forest area in Cooch Behar has been earmarked as an ideal location for the rhinos.
The river Torsa flows through this area. There is a presence of the grassland that the rhinos prefer.
"The Union Government has given a green signal. We have received the first installment of Rs. 2 Crores and 25 lakh. The total fund amounts to Rs 12 crore 55 lakh to be given in 5 years by the Ministry of Forest and Environment, Government of India. Work will commence immediately for the rehabilitation of the rhinos," stated West Bengal Forest Minister Binay Krishna Burman.
The rhinos will be released in the ratio of 2 females and 1 male. "Cooch Behar has different components of tourism. Only wildlife tourism was missing. With the new home foe rhinos this too will be fulfilled. We will approach the tourism department also to promote this. We will slowly develop an elephant safari here" added the Forest Minister.
Ramsahi jungle near Gorumara has also been earmarked as the area.
"The proposal will be sent to the Union Government. As soon as they give a go ahead and release funds we will start work in Ramsahi also" added Burman. The Indian rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis) is a vulnerable species, the large mammal is primarily found in north-eastern India's Assam, North Bengal where populations are confined to the riverine grasslands in the foothills of the Himalayas.