The bleeding animal is under treatment

Poachers shot at a rhino and chopped off its horn in the Kaziranga National Park and fled, leaving it to battle for its life in the small hours of Wednesday.

The female rhino, which was found bleeding and writhing in pain, is under treatment, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife) Suresh Chand told The Hindu.

The full grown mammal had strayed out of the flooded areas of the Park and was seen moving in the jungles of the Karbi Anglong foothills on Tuesday. Patrolling teams of forest guards and police were tracking it till late in the night.

Around 3.45 a.m, a gunshot was heard. However, when a patrol team located the animal at dawn, the poachers had already chopped off its horn.

On September 16, poachers killed a rhino of the Park near the Bagori range and took away its horn.

Since January, 12 rhinos have fallen victim to poaching in Assam. In 2011, the casualties were nine and in 2010, seven.

Four rhinos and 18 other animals — 14 hog deer, three wild boars and one sambar — were drowned in the current wave of floods in the Park, nearly 80 per cent of whose area has been submerged.

In the Dibru-Saikhowa National Park in Tinsukia district, two elephants were drowned.