“We were tipped off about a poaching attempt and accordingly alerted the guards patrolling the park,” said a official adding that around 2.30 a.m. the guards sighted the poachers and challenged them.
“The poachers opened fire forcing the guards to retaliate. In the ensuing gun battle one of the poachers was killed while the rest of the group managed to escape,” he said.
One .303 rifle and live cartridges were recovered from about the slain poacher who is yet to be identified, officials said.
Poaching has become one of the major concerns of the authorities at the Kaziranga National Park, a UNESCO world heritage site, and other protected areas in Assam.
Twenty-three one-horned rhinos have already been killed by poachers in Assam this year with 22 in Kaziranga alone.
The highest number of poaching cases took place in Assam last year, when the poachers had killed 41 rhinos including 27 in Kaziranga, five in Manas national park, three in Orang national park, two in Pabitora wildlife sanctuary and four in other areas.
Assam Forest and Environment Minister Rockybul Hussain had recently informed the state assembly that a total of 193 one-horned rhinos fell victim to poaching in Assam since 2001.