Guwahati: At least four world famous one horned rhinos have drowned in the floodwaters of Kaziranga National Park (KNP), as 90 percent of the park area continued to remain inundated on Thursday morning.
This monsoon season, the park authority has lost a total five rhinos with one natural death.
As per a rhino census conducted in 2018, Kaziranga is the home of 2,413 one-horned rhinos in the wild. The park houses around 70 percent of the one-horned rhino population in the world.
On Wednesday, two rhino carcasses were found in the eastern side of Donga camp and at Hatibalo in the Burapahar range. Before that, two other carcasses were detected near Mikirjan Tongi and Tinimukhuni Nalah on Tuesday.
The forest department has already collected the horns.
According to a flood bulletin issued by the park authorities on Thursday, the park has lost at least 76 animals so far. Out of them, at least 61 were hog deer alone. Many were also hit by speeding vehicle on NH 37 that passes through the park area.
Many animals have strayed out of the park and reached higher lands for safety. During the last two days, two Royal Bengal tigers were found taking shelter in villages located in the fringe areas of the park.
While one tiger left the place by its own, the other one was rescued by the forest department already.
“Forest department with the help of locals has rescued 121 animals including a two year old tigress and two rhinos,” said a park official. Park authority also managed to rescue a rhino cub which was separated from his mother due to flood.
With 90 percent of the park– spread over 430 square kilometres (km) — is submerged, at least 99 of the 223 forest camps remained inundated till Thursday morning. Six camps were vacated too.
However, water level slowly started decreasing since morning.