Guwahati: A total 25 animals including 21 Hog deer, a Schedule I protected wildlife species, and one rhino have died in the floodwaters in Kaziranga National Park (KNP) till Thursday morning. At least 80 percent of the KNP has been submerged in floodwaters this year so far.
Out of the total Hog deer died, at least eight were killed by speeding vehicles on NH-37, passing through the park area.
As per the Park authorities, some 662 vehicles have been found flouting the 40-km per hour speed limit since June 28. The park authorities had already issued strict guidelines to passers on vehicles to limit their speed while driving through the park area as the animals often cross the highway in search of highlands.
It said that at least seven vehicles have been fined so far for flouting the speed limit too.
According to the flood bulletin issued by the KNP authorities on Thursday morning, while one Hog deer died in drowning, four others died under treatment. Eight others died for reasons not known yet.
“Two wild boars and one swamp deer also drowned. One rhino also died during the flood,” the report said.
At least 34 animals were also rescued so far. “At least 30 Hog deer were rescued by locals and forest officials so far. Besides, two pythons and one Royal Bengal Tiger were also rescued from the floodwaters already,” it added.
During floods, animals sometimes stray out of the park area to the hills of neighbouring Karbi Anglong district. Many times, the poachers take advantage of the flood situation and kill rhinos and other endangered animals.
So far, 73 forest camps out of the total 223 in the park have also been inundated. Six out of them were even vacated.
The KNP has been witnessing flood havoc annually.