At A Glance
-- 45 hog deer, 3 wild boars and one rhino, one wild buffalo and a swamp deer perished in the floodwater.
-- Kaziranga National Park is home to over 2,200 one-horned Indian rhinoceros (approx 2/3rd of the total world population).
-- 2,763 villages in Assam have been inundated, affecting 24 lakh people and 103,806 hectares of crop area.
The floods in different parts of Assam have wreaked havoc inside Kaziranga National Park, a World Heritage site, killing at least 51 wild animals though 102 animals have been rescued, officials said on Tuesday. There have been reports of tigers and rhinos straying into nearby villages due to the flooding in their natural habitats.
According to officials from the Kaziranga National Park and the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), 95 per cent of the national park's 430 sq km area is now flooded. The traffic movement on the National Highway-37 near Kaziranga has been suspended. Officials said that 45 hog deer, three wild boars and one rhino, one wild buffalo and a swamp deer perished in the floodwater. However, 86 hog deer were rescued. Park Director P. Sivakumar said that rising water levels in the park areas had forced three sub-adult tigers to stray into a goat-shed in Kandolimari village. “Two of the tigers have already been driven back into the park. Efforts are on to locate the third tiger,” Sivakumar told IANS.
Formed in 1908, the Kaziranga National park, a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1985, is home to over 2,200 one-horned Indian rhinoceros, nearly two third of the total world population.
Each year, the monsoon floods inundate the National Park, forcing a large number of the wild animals to leave the park and head towards the nearby hills in Karbi Anglong district by crossing National Highway-37 that passes near the park's boundary.
The officials said 45 animals, mostly hog deer, were injured due to flood and one by vehicle hit. Of the 223 camps of forest personnel guarding the park, 173 have been inundated and 14 others vacated due to rising water levels. Heavy monsoon rains over the past few weeks have led to massive flooding of the northeastern state, inundating 2,763 villages and affecting over 24 lakh people and 103,806 hectares of crop area in 27 of its 33 districts.
ASDMA officials said with six more deaths in Assam on Monday, the death toll in the flood has risen to 50.
An adult ‘golden’ tigress, recently spotted in Kaziranga, is primarily a singular case of “colour aberration caused by a unique gene”, experts said. The only such big cat here, first spotted in 2014, has “lighter yellowish skin tone, narrower black stripes, whiter abdominal and facial regions when compared to a normal Royal Bengal Tiger,” Dr Firoz Ahmed, the head of Tiger Research and Conservation Division at NGO Aaryanak, said.