24 rare animals killed in flood-hit Kaziranga National Park

Though the overall flood situation in Assam improved during the past one week, at least 24 endangered animals were killed in the monsoon deluge in the Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve (KNP & TR), officials said on Monday.

Officials of the KNP & TR said the 24 dead animals comprise 17 hog deer, two rhino, one wild buffalo, two swamp deer, a python and a cap langur.

The forest personnel have so far rescued four animals, including a 10-day old male endangered rhino calf from the outer fringe of the central range near Mihimukh highland.

"The mother of the calf could not be traced. The calf which is weak and debilitated has been sent to the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC)," a KNP & TR official said.

Like previous years, over 70 per cent area of the world famous national park spanning Golaghat, Nagaon, Sonitpur, Biswanath and Karbi Anglong districts, has been inundated.

"With the overall improvement of the flood, on Monday, 30 per cent of the KNP & TR are still under the flood water," the officials said.

They said that authorities are keeping a close tab on the movement of animals that cross over the National Highway running through the park and face the risk of being run over.

India's seventh Unesco world heritage site, KNP & TR is home to more than 2,400 one-horned Indian rhinos.

To prevent the death and injury to the animals, speed limit is strictly enforced by forest and district administration officials and penalty is imposed for any violation.

As of Monday, around 1.19 lakh people have been affected in 14 of the state's 34 districts due to the floods, Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) officials said.

According to the ASDMA officials, seven people have lost their lives in flood-related incidents.

The flood situation is still bad in Golaghat, Darrang, Morigaon, Nagaon, Barpeta and Dhemaji districts.

Around 19,660 hectares of crop areas have been inundated, the ASDMA officials said, adding that 646 villages were affected.

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