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Mon, 20 Nov 2017

Northeast Today

Rhino Habitats Kaziranga, Pabitora Flooded Again

Rhino Habitats Kaziranga, Pabitora Flooded Again
August 14
19:59 2017

The second wave of floods in Assam have submerged rhino habitats Kaziranga National Park (KNP) and Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary forcing the animals there to take shelter on highlands.

KNP Divisional Forest Officer Rohini Ballav Saikia on Monday said over 85 per cent of the 430 sq km KNP, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is under water that came from Difloo river. Saikia said that water was also rushing in as a portion of an embankment breached at Hatimura on the southern side of KNP.

Stating the carcass of two deer were recovered from a drain inside KNP, he said four rhino calves and a number of hog deer were rescued from the deluge. They were sent to the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation at Panbari. Over 78,000 people of 57 nearby villages were also affected and two persons died there.

Stating that one-metre water is flowing on NH-37 along which KNP is situated, the DFO said vehicular traffic between the upper and lower part of the state through the Highway was stopped. Despite this, patrolling has been intensified along NH-37 as poachers could take advantage of the situation, said a KNP official.

The Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary in Morigaon district near Guwahati was also under water coming from the Brahmaputra river and the one horned rhinos and other wild animals were forced to take shelter on highlands outside, forest department officials said.

As its infrastructure destroyed in the first wave of floods last month, Pobitora, the densest habitat of one horned rhinos in the world, is completely inundated today for the second time, the officials said.

The link road to Pobitora from Guwahati was breached at Tamuliduba point disrupting surface communication to the sanctuary which is home to more than 100 rhinos, 1000 wild hogs, over 1500 wild buffaloes, different species of snakes, tortoises and thousands of birds, they said. The Forest Protection Force personnel were keeping vigil in the sanctuary to curb poaching there.

-PTI

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