As many as 334 animals have died at the Kaziranga National Park in two successive waves of floods in Assam, The Indian Express reported on Saturday. The casualties includes 22 rhinos, one tiger, several elephants and buffaloes and over 250 various species of deer. Around 30% of the national park is still under water.
“While the first wave of floods in July came in slowly, the second wave was rather rapid, catching the animals almost totally unawares,” said park Director Satyendra Singh. “On August 12 for instance, the water level rose by more than 10 feet in just about 10 to 12 hours, and the animals, who generally can anticipate danger by watching the water level rise, were almost caught unaware.”
The park had lost 105 animals during the first wave in July. “In comparison, we lost 229 animals till Saturday, of which as many as 202 were various species of deer,” Singh said. “We also lost 15 rhinos in the current wave, apart from five elephant calves, two buffaloes, four wild boars, and most importantly, one tiger.”
The infrastructure at the national park has also been damaged in the deluge. Singh said a number of wooden bridges and anti-poaching camps have been severely damaged. “We will be able to make a final assessment only when the entire flood water flows out of the park,” he said. “But several wooden bridges as well as pucca culverts have been visibly damaged, some of them also washed away.”