Nepal gifted a pair of endangered one-horned rhinoceros to China amid a function organised at the office of National Trust for Nature Conservation in Khumaltar, Lalitpur, today.
The Council of Ministers had taken a decision to this effect on July 10 last year. Of the two rhinos, one is male and the other female. Bhadra and Rupasi, which are below two years of age, were brought to Kathmandu from Chitwan National Park yesterday.
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli handed over the rhinoceros to Ambasador of China to Nepal Yu Hong as a gift to the northern neighbour from Nepal. Addressing the handing over ceremony, PM Oli expressed confidence that this gift had further strengthened the bilateral relations between Nepal and China.
“The pair of Bhadra and Rupasi has deepened the historic Nepal-China relations forged by Bhrikuti and Araniko. I hope Bhadra and Rupasi will have a home away from home to live and grow up,” he said. PM Oli also said that the government was sensitive about conservation of wild animals.
The Chinese authorities will fly the rare species to the northern neighbour in a chartered cargo aircraft. The male one was taken under control from Khoriyamuhan and the female from Sukhibhar region of CNP.
With this, the number of one-horned rhinos Nepal has gifted to different countries has reached 30. Six rhinos were gifted to the US, four to India and two each to Germany, Bangladesh, United Kingdom, Japan, Austria, Thailand, Burma and Pakistan.
The rhinos were gifted for the first time in 1985 to India. Nepal has also received elephants from India, Myanmar and Thailand as gifts in return.
According to the census of 2015, there are a total of 645 rhinos in Nepal. Of them, as many as 605 are in Chitwan National Park alone.