Passage for Exercise-91

Read carefully the passage given below and answer the questions that follow:

   Driven by a lucrative market for the beasts’ horn and flesh, poachers have hunted the rhino to near extinction in every country of the animals’ habitat throughout Africa and Asia. Yet, Nepal, one of the poorest countries in the world, has effectively halted the rhino’s decline. While the rhinos of Kenya, Uganda, and Zambia have been decimated, Nepal’s herd has quadrupled in the last fifteen years.

    Nepalis killed rhinos, too. Hindus used rhino horn for a ceremony called Turpa, in which they pour water over a horn fragment as part of the ceremony honouring ancestors. Lacking the horn, the knee-cap, skin or hoof may be used as a ceremonial cup. Some Nepalis drink rhino urine as an antidote for asthma and digestive disorders or apply it to the skin to disinfect wounds. A rhino-skin bracelet is thought to bring luck. “People believe that if they eat rhino meat they will go to heaven. May be because the rhino is so big and powerful,” said an old Tharu tribesman.

   At six feet in height, with a weight of two tons, the great one-horned rhino is a powerful beast but no match for peoples’ greed. The great beast was on its way to extinction when the King of Nepal stepped in.

   King Birendra declared the rhino protected. He generously converted its largest habitat — his family hunting reserve — into a National Park. Chitwan National Park, as it is called, now stretches over 360 square miles. And a unit of the army — about 850 men enforced the royal decree. Stationed at outposts every few miles, they
are ordered to shoot poachers at sight.


1. What has happened to the rhino in the African countries?
2. How many times has the number of rhinos in Nepal increased?
3. Which parts of the rhino’s body are used as a ceremonial cup?
4. What are the diseases that rhino urine is believed to be able to cure?
5. What did King Birendra do to protect the rhino in Nepal?
6. Write down, from the passage, the words that have the following meanings:
(a) medicine used to prevent a disease from having an effect
(b) people who kill or take animals illegally
(c) profitable
(d) natural home of animals.

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