Two rhinos drown to death as flood waters submerge Assam’s Kaziranga national park
Two rhinoceros were killed due to drowning in Assam’s Kaziranga national park and tiger reserve, which is reeling under monsoon flood fury that has become an annual feature.
Kaziranga authorities informed on Wednesday that carcasses of a male and a female rhino were found on Tuesday at Tinimukhuni Nallah and Miikrjan Tongi areas in the central range of the park, which is spread over 430 square kilometres (km).
This is the third rhino death in the park -- the largest habitat of one-horned rhinos in the world -- this monsoon.
On June 26, the carcass of a male rhino, which had died due to natural causes, was found in the western range of the park.
At present, around 90% of the park’s total area is submerged under floodwaters and 153 of the total 223 forest camps inside are inundated, of which 14 of which have been vacated.
According to a bulletin issued by the park authorities on Wednesday, 66 wild animals have died during this monsoon with 23 deaths (two rhinos, five wild boars, a swamp deer, 14 hog deer, and a porcupine) due to drowning and 12 (all hog deer) after they were hit by speeding vehicles.
A total of 45 animals (all hog deer) have been injured — 44 due to floods and one due to a vehicle hit.
Forest personnel has rescued 117 animals, including a one-year-old female rhino calf, which had got separated from its mother to date.
Every year as floods ravage Kaziranga, the park’s animals including elephants, rhinos, and tigers cross the nearby national highway to find safety in the hills of adjoining 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 or die due to speeding vehicles.