The devastating floods in Assam have reached epic proportions as the tragedy has killed more than 80 people in the state and affected over 70 lakh people. However, just like humans, animals too are at risk and the floods have posed an enormous threat to wild animals and their habitats.Also Read - Assam Floods: Death Toll Mounts to 85, United Nations Takes Stock of Situation
As per reports, over 90 per cent of land and forest areas in Assam’s Kaziranga National Park has been flooded by rainwater, leading to the death of at least 116 wild animals. 143 animals have also been rescued, so far.
Officials of the Forest Department and Kaziranga Park, a World Heritage site, said many tigers and rhinos had strayed into nearby villages and higher locations due to flooding of their habitats.
According to the officials, 11 rhinos, 88 hog deer, seven wild boars, four wild buffaloes, two swamp deer, two porcupines and one sambar and one python had so far perished in the floodwater or after hits by vehicles on the National Highway-37.
Of the rescued animals, 110 were hog deer, four tigers, two rhinos, 17 pythons, and three turtles. 16 hog deers were killed during treatment while 117 animals were released into the forest area after they were treated.
Park Director P. Sivakumar said that rising water level in the park areas had forced three sub-adult tigers to stray into a goat-shed in Kandolimari village and nearby areas.
“Subsequently, the tigers have already been driven back into the park area. All-out efforts were made to take care of the animals in the entire Kaziranga National Park,” Sivakumar told IANS.
Formed in 1908, the Kaziranga National park, a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1985, is home to more than 2,200 one-horned Indian rhinoceros, approximately two-third of the total world population.
(With Agency inputs)