Kaziranga Bleeds: Over 120 Animals, Including Rare Rhinos, Die in Assam Floods

Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma highlights Kaziranga's plight amid severe floods, sharing a video of a stranded rhino calf. The floods have affected wildlife and humans alike, causing significant damage.
Kaziranga Bleeds: Over 120 Animals, Including Rare Rhinos, Die in Assam Floods
Source: X (ANI)

By Friday evening, floods had submerged 68 out of 233 camps in the Eastern Assam Wildlife Division. These camps are home to forest workers who protect the national park’s plants and animals. To prevent more damage, the government has limited vehicle speeds on a major highway to 20-40 km per hour.

On Sunday, Assam’s Chief Minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma, talked about the flood crisis. Instead of asking for national recognition of the floods, he wants practical solutions. He mentioned that the central government has already given funds to help fight the floods and promised more money for building barriers and other necessary infrastructure.

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Kaziranga Bleeds: Over 120 Animals, Including Rare Rhinos, Die in Assam Floods

During his visit to flood relief camps in Kamrup district, CM Sarma said, "Calling the flood a national problem won’t help us; it might even keep tourists away. We need practical solutions." He noted that this year, the damage to barriers has been much less compared to previous years. "This year, there hasn’t been much flooding near the barriers; the main issue is along the rivers. In 2004, 300-400 barriers broke, but this time it’s only two or three," he said.

Sarma also mentioned that work on various barriers is ongoing, and the central government is ready to give more funds if needed. "The Centre has given us Rs 13,000 crore in advance this year. We haven’t spent much of that money yet," he said, assuring that the state government has enough funds to handle the crisis.

KAZIRANGA BLEEDS

The floods have badly affected Kaziranga National Park.

129 animals have died so far
Including six rhinos, 100 hog deer, two sambar, and an otter, mostly due to drowning.

Two animals were also hit by vehicles while trying to escape to higher ground.

Twenty animals died while being treated, but 96 have been rescued, including 84 hog deer. Currently, 26 animals are receiving medical care, and 50 have been released after treatment. This year’s flooding is the worst the park has seen in recent years, even worse than the floods in 2017, when 350 animals died.

Various agencies, including the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), and local administration, are helping with rescue operations. They have deployed 171 boats across the state to assist those affected by the floods.

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Kaziranga Bleeds: Over 120 Animals, Including Rare Rhinos, Die in Assam Floods

The annual floods in Assam are a huge challenge, impacting both people and wildlife. The state’s location and weather conditions make it prone to such natural disasters. Every year, floods disrupt life and cause significant damage to infrastructure and the environment. Flooding in Kaziranga National Park is particularly concerning because the park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to many endangered species. The loss of wildlife is a significant blow to conservation efforts, and the park’s ecosystem will take time to recover.

The death of six rhinos is especially troubling. Rhinos are a key species in Kaziranga, and their loss affects the entire park’s biodiversity. Efforts to rescue and treat affected animals are crucial, and the work being done by forest personnel and various rescue teams is commendable.

For local communities, the floods are a recurring nightmare. Many people lose their homes, crops, and livestock each year, leading to economic hardship and displacement. Relief camps provide temporary shelter, but rebuilding takes time. Ensuring these communities receive the support and resources they need to recover is essential.

As Assam continues to deal with the floods, the focus must remain on finding effective solutions and building resilience against future disasters. The commitment of the state and central governments, along with the efforts of various agencies, offers hope for a safer and more sustainable future.

The floods in Assam highlight the urgent need for comprehensive strategies to lessen their impact. Protecting wildlife in Kaziranga National Park and supporting affected communities requires a multi-faceted approach.

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