on 13 May 2016
This book was first published in 2008, has 216 pages, 21 chapters, 17 B/W photos and 1 map of Royal Chitwan NP. The book is dedicated o author's colleagues who died in an helicopter crash in Nepal in 2006. The foreword is by Bruce Babbitt and Jim Fowler. HEMANTA RAJ MISHRA was born on 21.9.1945 in Nepal. He began his field career in 1967 with the Nepalese Government and has worked with Smithsonian Institute, WWF and made extensive scientific studies od large Asian wild animals. He has been awarded in 1987, the Getty Wildlife Conservation Prize and credited with halting the extinction of Asian Rhino (nose horn) and the tiger in Nepal. he lives in Vienna, Virginia. In this book, Mishra narrates his own journey since 1970 and that of the Indian Rhino, in the foothills of the Himalayans.
Mishra's (aged 22) first sight of the Asian rhino was when he was ridding an elephant through the forests of Chitwan NP (Royal Shikar Reserve). The male rhino huffed, puffed and snorted - 'dburr dburr' and the female rhino whistled - 'kuiee kuiee'. Rhinos were 8 years old and would come into heat together. Another 2 ton male rhino was seen in the Rapti River, in the southern Nepal forests. Mishra was learning from his elephant keeper - Tapsi. He put his study of biology and forestry to good use. Mishra continued to observe rhinos from the back of elephants, treetops, hidden in trees and from a helicopter. The census showed that rhino numbers had dropped drastically to 100 in 1968.
In 1969, Mishra had gone for 2 years to University of Edinburgh, Scotland for his masters degree in wildlife management. In 1972, he went to Yellowstone NP, USA to learn about the 1st Np in the world and then returned to Nepal to establish in 1973, the Chitwan NP, with the help of John Blower from East Africa. Tiger Tops and Tharu Village Lodges were built. Mishra captured baby rhino for American Zoo, in exchange for funds for saving wild rhinos in Nepal. Rhinos were also moved to Royal Bardia NP, 2nd home of the rhino in Nepal, in Jan 1987. Mishra moved 13 rhinos here and then spent 3 years studying them, during which time 5 new calves were born. In the next 2 months, 25 more rhinos were moved from Chitwan to Bardia, some crop raiders. Rhinos were retuned to Bardia after 100 years. The last rhino had been shot in Bardia by a British Hunter in 1878.
Then in 2005, civil war started in Nepal and the rhino numbers dropped sharply due to poaching. But according to WWF, the rhino numbers by 2015 have increased by 21% to 645 and poaching had dropped to Zero.
Some other books of interest are:-
(1) Rhinos Belong to Everybody, Prof Grzimek 1964
(2) The Arm'd Rhinoceros, Nick Carter 1965
(3) Run Rhino Run, Martin 1982
(4) Ivory Crisis, Parker 1983
(5) Rhino, Balfour 1991
(6) Rhino at the Brink of Extinction, Anna Merz 1999
(7) Killing for Profit, Rademeyer 2012
(8) Rhino Keepers, Walker 2012
(9) The Last Rhino (Walking with Rhino), Anthony 2013
(10)Black Rhinos of Namibia, Bass 2014
Having born in Kenya, I found this book interesting.