A Rhino appear in front of us, crossing our trail, may be 20 meters in front of us.. First, he didn't spot us (picture above).. but, then started to turn slowly his head towards us… (picture above)
My friends ran away, with the guide, while I stayed with the ranger which didn't moved. After 10or 20 seconds of mutual observation, the rhino decided not to have a nearer look at us, and went away in the opposite direction…
Few words about the parks and the rhino populations :
The Royal Chitwan National Park is located in the Terai region. This lowland band along the southwestern edge of Nepal is part of the plain of the River Ganges.
Until the 1950s, most of this area was uninhabited, because of malaria.
But then the Nepali government decided to spray DDT to reduce the swarms of mosquitoes so people could move down into the lowlands, and clear away the forest in order to farm.
Within ten years, more than 50 % of the forest had disappeared to make room for agricultural fields.
And the human population had risen from 36,000 to 100,000 in the early 60's
Simultaneously, uncontrolled poaching also erupted, and the rhino population was reduced to a mere 100, i.e. ten times less than ten years before !!
In 1963, the area south of Rapti river was demarcated as a rhinoceros sanctuary and in 1970, the King Mahendra had approved in principle the creation of a National Park.
In order to achieve it, 22,000 residents were expelled from its 360 square miles, and a special contingent of the Royal Nepalese Army was deployed to prevent rhino poaching.
And the current Asian rhino population of Chitwan is about 400, which is a quarter of the worlds' total of its kind !!.