The second wave of floods in Assam has inundated 80 per cent of the 481 sq km area of the famed Kaziranga National Park and claimed the lives of over 140 animals, including seven rhinos. Since August 10, seven rhinos, 122 swamp deer, two elephants, three wild boars, two hog deer, three sambhar deer, one buffalo and one porcupine died, KNP Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Rohini Ballav Saikia said here yesterday. “Carcasses are being recovered daily,” the official said. Out of the seven dead rhinos, six drowned while the other died of natural causes. Water of the Brahmaputra river entered the KNP, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, through river Difloo on August 10, the DFO said. Intensified water patrolling was on by KNP guards, task force, protection force along with those from NGOs, Wildlife Trust of India and forest department employees for rescuing, recovering and making assessment of species trapped or dead in the KNP, Sakia said.
At present, animals in KNP are moving in search of food available on both sides of the NH-37 and the adjacent tea gardens towards the higher altitudes of Karbi Anglong district, the official said. Forest department and security personnel are fixing hoardings, posters, banners to restrict speed limit of vehicles on the NH-37 passing through the park between 20 to 40 km per hour, the DFO said.