Nepal to give two pairs of endangered one-horned rhinos to China
Touch a rhino horn and receive good luck. At least, that’s why they say in Nepal. Soon Chinese people will have a chance to do just that.
After a cabinet meeting at Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s official residence, the Nepalese government decided to give China two pairs of endangered one-horned rhinoceros as a goodwill gift to help strengthen relations between the two countries. The Chinese government requested the rhinos in an earlier meeting between Nepalese forest minister Agni Sapkota and Chinese officials.
“We have decided to gift the two pairs of rhinoceros to Chinese government in order to help carrying out research studies on rhinoceros conservation in China,” a government spokesman said in an official statement.
During Sapkota’s trip in March of this year, the Chinese government suggested providing financial and technical assistance to set up a forensics science laboratory near Kathmandu and also develop green economic corridors at two border points in exchange for the rhinos. The two pair will be used to conduct conservation research on the species.
Nepal is host to a total of 645 one-horned rhinoceroses. 605 are in Chitwan National Park, a national park on Nepal’s southern border with India. The park was granted the status of World Heritage Site in 1984 and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Nepal. The two pairs of rhinos destined for China will be selected from this park.
The one-horned rhino is extinct in China and now can only be found in Nepal and parts of India. Government officials also told media that many countries have received a one-horned rhino as an official gift before. The species is listed as ‘vulnerable’ by the IUCN red list and has a total worldwide population of less than 4,000.