Post floods, villagers around Kaziranga and Manas national parks are helping endangered herbivores survive. But about 800 Asian open-bill storks, nestling on a 200-year-old ‘sacred’ banyan tree, adjoining a Buddhist monastery at Banglung village in Karbi Anglong district, died as the tree crashed on September 15. The tree apparently could not take the weight of the birds.
On Sunday, the villagers performed a mass funeral for the birds, which they believed were Banglung’s guardian angels.
“The banyan tree’s crash and the deaths were ominous for the villagers,” said wildlife warden AB Goswami.
Meanwhile, villagers near the flood-hit Kaziranga National Park helped rescue at least half a dozen swamp and hog deer.
“Saving some animals would have been impossible without the villagers,” said state forest chief MC Malakar.