9 rhinos among 124 animals dead in Kaziranga flood

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Kaziranga (Assam), Aug 4 (PTI): The recent floods in Assam have claimed the lives of 124 animals, including nine rhinos, in Kaziranga National Park (KNP).

Besides, 130 other animals were injured in KNP when the river waters submerged 85 per cent of the World Heritage site, KNP Divisional Forest Officer Rohini Ballav Saikia said here on Friday. As in previous years, KNP was submerged for over 10 days which created panic and chaos among the animals. The authorities had kept ready nearly 200 highlands for the animals to take shelter during the floods, but several of the highlands got submerged by the waters of Brahmaputra and Difloo rivers for a couple of weeks, Saikia said. Of the nine rhinos found dead, four got drowned and four others died unable to flee from rising water because of their old age. The ninth one was killed by a tiger on a highland, the KNP official said. He said 17 animals were killed after being hit by speeding vehicles on NH-37 along the Park. These animals were 11 hog deer, two swam deer, one wild cat, two snakes and one porcupine.

Meanwhile, 125 hog deer, four swamp deer and one rhino cub were rescued from highlands, flood prone areas and residential areas and were under medical treatment. Several areas within the KNP are still under water.

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