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Assam

Assam floods: 8 animals killed in Kaziranga, 44 rescued

Heavy rainfall in the past few days has led to flooding in most parts of Kaziranga National Park (KNP) and Tiger Reserve in Assam........

GUWAHATI:  As the flood situation prevailed in Kaziranga National Park, eight wild animals, including a Rhino calf, were killed while 44 animals were rescued, according to the update on the flood situation released by the forest officials on Wednesday.

Heavy rainfall in the past few days has led to flooding in most parts of Kaziranga National Park (KNP) and Tiger Reserve in Assam, officials said on Wednesday.

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According to the officials, till Wednesday morning, 178 of the 233 forest camps located inside the park, which is home to the world’s largest population of the endangered one-horned rhinos, are under at least five feet of water.

Forest officials said that 80 of the inundated camps are in the Agratoli and Kaziranga ranges of the park. Due to rising flood waters, forest guards have abandoned nine camps located inside the park.

“All animals have died due to natural causes – drowning and exhaustion,” Sonali Ghosh, KNP director, informed without giving details of the species of animals that have died. Officials informed on condition of anonymity, that the animals killed due to floods include hog deer and a rhino calf.

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On Tuesday, Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma visited parts of the park and nearby areas to take stock of the situation. He said that National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has been deployed for rescuing the animals.

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“Flood waters have entered most parts of Kaziranga, and it has affected the wild animals. A rhino calf has been killed. Personnel from NDRF and forest department are engaged in rescuing animals and ensuring their safety,” Sarma posted on X.

Every year, once flood waters enter Kaziranga, wild animals, including rhinos and elephants, cross the NH-37 located along the park and go to the hills and higher reaches on the other side for safety.

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To avoid such accidents, from July 1, the state government has enforced few traffic regulations including a ban on commercial trucks from plying on the stretch of the national highways that runs along the park.

All passenger vehicles, both private and commercial, would be allowed to move at regulated speed and escorted by police and forest staff every 30 minutes.

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