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PTR plans to lure rhinos from Nepal to stay back permanently

Pilibhit: The authorities of Pilibhit Tiger Reserve (PTR) are planning to attract rhinos from Nepal, till now seasonal visitors, to settle in the Lagga Bagga forest belt of the Mahof forest range and make it a permanent home.
The Lagga Bagga forest area of PTR adjoins the Royal Shuklaphanta National Park of Nepal. The rhinos from Nepal naturally migrate to this region, as revealed by camera trap pictures, in winter because of its natural resources.
According to Naveen Khandelwal, divisional forest officer of PTR, a similar thing happened in Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, where a herd of wild elephants from Nepal initially migrated for a short span of time but subsequently, stayed on permanently. 
"Lagga Bagga spans 1,905.20 hectares, sharing a 14-km border with Nepal's Royal Shuklaphanta National Park. It has rich grasslands, plenty of water bodies, swampy wetlands, and unobstructed wild corridors- all favorable conditions for the rhinos," said the DFO.
"We intend to ensure frequent movement of rhinos from Nepal to PTR and to gradually let them make their habitat here. We are pursuing the proposed plan on a war footing," said Khandelwal.
For this purpose, work is on identifying the species of grass that rhinos like the most. As they love rolling in the mud and swamp, adequate wetlands are necessary, said Gupta. He said that the rhino population in Nepal went up to 752 in 2021 from 645, estimated six years ago in 2015. The Shuklaphanta park has as many as 17 one-horned rhinos as per the last count.

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