Two more rhinos die due to flooding in Assam’s Kaziranga; total goes up to 5
Two more rhinoceroses have died due to drowning in floodwaters in Assam’s Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve (KNPTR), as the toll of the endangered species rose to five amid the annual monsoon fury.
According to a bulletin issued by the park authorities on Thursday, 90% of the park -- spread over 430 square kilometres (km) -- is submerged, and 99 of the 223 forest camps are inundated, including six that have been vacated.
The carcasses of the two rhinos were detected on Wednesday. While a male rhino was found on the eastern side of Donga camp in the park’s Western range, a female rhino was found at Hatibalo in the Burapahar range. State forest department officials have collected the horns of the dead animals.
Also read: 6 more dead as floods worsen across Assam
Earlier on Tuesday, carcasses of a male and a female rhino were found at Tinimukhuni Nallah and Miikrjan Tongi areas in the Central range of the park.
On June 26, the carcass of a male rhino, which had died due to natural causes, was found in the park’s Western range.
According to a bulletin issued by the park authorities on Thursday, 76 wild animals have died during this monsoon with 31 deaths, including four rhinos, five wild boars, two swamp deer, 18 hog deer, a wild buffalo, and a porcupine,
due to drowning and 12 hog deer because of speeding vehicles.
At least 48 animals, including 47 hog deer and a swamp deer, have been injured because of floods (47) and one by a speeding vehicle.
Forest personnel has rescued 121 animals, including a one-year-old female rhino calf, which got separated from its mother, and a two-year-old tigress to date.
Every year, as floods ravage KNPTR, the park’s animals including elephants, rhinos and tigers cross the nearby national highway to find safety in the hills of nearby Karbi Anglong district.
Though vehicle movement is regulated and a speed limit of a maximum of 40 km per hour (kmph) has been imposed, several animals get injured and die due to speeding vehicles.
Last monsoon, nearly 70% of the park had got submerged. Around 200 wild animals, including 18 rhinos, had died due to floods, and 17 others, mainly deer, got killed by speeding vehicles in violation of the stipulated speed limit.