Guwahati: The Assam government has begun verification of rhino horns stored in different treasuries in order to reconcile and destroy those, barring the ones linked to court cases or required for scientific purposes, officials said.

The process started from the Morigaon treasury on August 18 and 261 rhino horns have been verified so far, they said.

The exercise is being conducted by seven zonal committees and a technical panel constituted by the state’s chief wildlife warden.

The state government is contemplating to reconcile the rhino horns, ivory and destruction of the same thereof, except for those required as exhibit in court case or as specimens for education, awareness and scientific purposes, an official release said.

Out of the 261 horns verified thus far, 241 have been marked for destruction and 18 for preservation, it said.

The entire operation is being screened live.

The last such statewide counting and inspection of rhino horns was conducted in 2016, after questions were raised on the genuineness of the horns stocked.

A total of 2,020 horns were found in 12 treasuries of the state in 2016.

Assam’s Kaziranga is home to 2,413 one-horned rhinos, the world’s largest population of the species, according to the last rhino census conducted in 2018.

The horns are mostly retrieved from rhinos that die of natural causes.

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