- Altogether 53 animals including three rhinos perished in Kaziranga flood
- Of the animal deaths, 32 died because of drowning and eight were run over by vehicles
- Hog deer, one of the smallest deer species, took the maximum brunt
GUWAHATI: Water level in Kaziranga National Park (KNP), a World Heritage Site 250kms from here, started receding on Thursday, but the past eight days of deluge has left a trail of animal carcasses.
According KNP’s assessment, altogether 53 animals including three rhinos perished in Kaziranga flood when the deluge surged between July 5 and July 13. Of the animal deaths, 32 died because of drowning and eight were run over by vehicles while escaping the flooded park. The animals were hit by vehicles after they started leaving the inundated park for reaching highlands by crossing national highway 37 along the southern boundary of Kaziranga.
Hog deer, one of the smallest deer species, took the maximum brunt with the toll reaching 43 during the peak of the deluge. Twenty-four hog deer were drowned, seven were killed by speeding vehicles and 12 succumbed to injuries either due to vehicle hit or while trying to escape the flood. Among other animals drowned also included one Asiatic wild buffalo, one wild boar, one sambar, two eastern swamp deer. Also among the eight killed in vehicle hit is one leopard cat.
On Thursday, park officials said even as flood started receding, 70% of the 430 Sq KM area of Kaziranga is still under water. Staff of seven out of 170-odd anti-poaching camps had to be evacuated during the week of high flood.