Assam Flood: 131 wild animals dead, 97 rescued in Kaziranga National Park

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Villagers shift from a flood affected area to a safer place following heavy rainfall, in Nagaon district, Sunday, July 7, 2024

Villagers shift from a flood affected area to a safer place following heavy rainfall, in Nagaon district, Sunday, July 7, 2024

Guwahati: At least 131 wild animals have died so far in floods in the Kaziranga National Park while 96 others have been rescued, an official said on Monday.

The dead animals include six rhinos, 117 hog deer, including 98 by drowning, two by vehicle hits and 17 during treatment, two sambar, a rhesus macaque and an otter due to drowning in the park.

A total of 25 animals have died during treatment and these include 17 hog deer, one each of swamp deer, Rhesus Macaque and an otter pup.

The forest officials rescued 85 hog deer, two each of rhino, sambar and scops owl and one each of swamp deer, Indian hare, Rhesus Macaque, otter, elephant and a jungle cat.

Currently, 25 animals are under medical care while 52 others have been released after treatment, the official said.

The park is experiencing the worst-ever deluge in recent years with the previous large-scale devastation occurring in 2017 when over 350 wildlife died in the flood waters and in vehicle hits while migrating through animal corridors to the highlands.

The NH-715 is a corridor for the animals to cross over to the hills of Karbi Anglong.

Meanwhile, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday said that the floods in the state have affected humans and animals alike and ''Team Assam is working round the clock to aid everyone''.

''Recently, while passing through Kaziranga, I noticed this stranded rhino calf and instructed its immediate rescue'', Sarma posted on 'X'.

Out of the total 233 camps in the Eastern Assam Wildlife Division, 69 are still inundated till Friday evening as against 68 the previous day, the official said.

In the Eastern or Agoratoli range, 14 of the 34 camps have been inundated while 22 of the 58 camps are in central range, 20 out of the 39 in Western or Bagori range and 4 each in Burapahar range, Bokakhat and Nagaon along with one in Biswanath Wildlife Division are under flood waters.

Altogether four camps have been vacated by the forest personnel so far with two each in central range and Bokakhat.

Forest department employees including security personnel stay in camps inside the national park to conduct patrolling for the protection of flora and fauna.

Meanwhile, prohibitory orders under Section 163 of the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS) to restrict the movement of vehicular traffic on NH-37 (New NH-715) and its speed to between 20 to 40 km/hour is in force.