BNP Blind Vikram
The Blind Rhino We Met in The Bardia National Park
Our first opportunity to get up close and personal with a rhino called Vikram, a very patient soul who stood this way and that as I snapped away but he has a past has our new friend. Bear found the following piece about him.
Nepal rhino serving ‘jail’ term for killing man Humans serving jail term for killing animals is a reality in many countries. But a rhino in Nepal is undergoing ‘imprisonment’ for past one year for killing a man.
Jan 28, 2011 23:15 IST – Utpal Parashar of The Hindustan Tiimes wrote:
Humans serving jail term for killing animals is a reality in many countries. But a rhino in Nepal is undergoing 'imprisonment' for past one year for killing a man.
Authorities at Bardia National Park in western Nepal have kept this blind one-horned rhino called Vikram in a small enclosure measuring 1 katha (720 square feet) for killing a 60-year-old priest. An orphan, the rhino was brought to Bardia from Chitwan National Park in 2002 after residents of nearby villages had badly injured the sightless animal.
Due to his blindness, Vikram, used to be popular among visitors to the park. Many used to get close to him and click photographs. Nepal Army personnel posted at the park for security purposes and staff of Bardia National Park also grew fond of Vikram. But that was till it attacked Man Bahadur Rana, priest of a local Hindu temple. Vikram's jail term began after the 'victim' succumbed to injuries.
"Even we feel bad to keep such a docile animal in confinement. But we have no option because he might attack humans again if left free," the Nagarik daily quoted Ramesh Thapa, a park official. Another official stated that Vikram used to roam freely for around 15 kilometres daily inside the park. But nowadays, he just keeps moving around in the closed enclosure. Vikram will remain in 'prison' for another 5 months after which he will be shifted to another part of park.
Well, he is long past his ‘sentence’ and will live out his days in his own large enclosure complete with mud hole and frequent visitors. He lays down quietly for keepers to remove the ticks that the birds miss and they stop for a word or two with him as they pass by. There is genuine affection for this chap and we liked him immediately.
Vikram had not long had a good roll about in his mud bath and as he quietly munched on some hay, patiently turned for us to have a good look.
The greater one-horned rhinoceros is a huge ungulates with a deeply folded blackish skin and medially placed horn on the snout. It is the largest of the three Asian Rhino species. In Nepal, rhino is found in Chitwan National Park, Bardia National Park, Shuklaphanta National Park and few in Parsa Wildlife Reserve with a total population of 645.
The major threat to the rhino is poaching for its horns which is falsely believed to have medical value in traditional Chinese medicine.
Sadly, being blind means he bangs his face and we could see a fairly fresh wound on his face.
Ears, eye and horn.
Rear end folds. Sad to see the nail sticking out of the fence post.
We told him we were off and I swear he smiled..........
ALL IN ALL A HAPPY CHAP
WELL LOOKED AFTER AND CARED FOR