The two rhinos of the Kaziranga National Park found bleeding and battling for life after poachers shot at them and made off with their horns in Karbi Anglong hill areas, succumbed to their injuries on Friday.
Earlier on Thursday, poachers killed another rhino of the park in the foothills of Karbi Anglong and made off with its horn. All the three rhinos had strayed out of flooded areas of the national park.
Following the death of these three rhinos over the past three days, the number of rhinos killed by poachers in the State since January has gone up to 14.
These include 11 rhinos killed by poachers in and around Kaziranga and one each in the Manas National Park, the Orang National Park and the Pabitora Wildlife Sanctuary, Prinicipal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) Suresh Chand told The Hindu.
Mr. Chand said the two rhinos, which had bullet wounds, died despite the best efforts of experts. He said the two were found at very remote locations.
Meanwhile, a four-member probe team of the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) arrived at the national park and began investigation into the targeting of rhinos fleeing flooded areas of the park. Mr. Chand said the probe team visited the spot and gathered details.
Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Environment and Forests Jayanthi Natarajan on Thursday ordered the probe by the WCCB.
The Assam government has also sought a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and has decided to deploy the Army along the hills of Karbi Anglong adjacent to the park as it suspects involvement of militants in the poaching of rhino horns.