The Kaziranga National Park, famed for its one-horned rhino, is in the grip of the swirling waters of River Brahmaputra with vast areas inundated and animals fleeing to highlands for safety.
A rhino carcass was recovered by wildlife staff from Kumarkata area of the National Park and it was suspected to have been killed by poachers who are on the prowl to pounce upon flood-hit animals of the sanctuary, Park Director N K Vasu told PTI.
Another rhino died after it got stuck in water hyacinth while three deer and a python were run over on the highway, he said.
Vasu said only herds of elephants and buffaloes, apart from a few deer, had managed to cross over to neighbouring Karbi Anglong while most of the other animals were taking shelter on highlands within the Park.
He said the situation within the Park was critical and "we are preparing for the worst". Additional staff from other departments like social and territorial forestry had been roped in and people engaged to monitor the movement of animals across National Highway 37.
Assam Forest Minister Pradyut Bordoloi was camping in the Park to review the situation.