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Seven rhinos, 143 species found dead in flood-hit KNP

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  19 Aug 2017 12:00 AM GMT

From a Correspondent

JORHAT, Aug 18: Although water level is receding, 80 per cent of Kaziranga tiol Park (KNP) still remains submerged after it was hit by the second wave of flood since August 10, leaving seven rhinos, including 143 species dead, said Rohini Ballav Saikia, the Divisiol Forest Officer (DFO) on Thursday.

The DFO RB Saikia said, “When we look back to the 1988 flood which was quite similar, the casualty of the species was more or less same as this time. Carcasses are recovered daily following downward trend of water level within the park area. Till date, seven rhinos and 143 other species like 122 swan deer, two elephants, three boars, two hog deer, three sambhar deer, one buffalo and one porcupine have died. Out of the seven rhinos, six were found drowned and one died of tural causes. More carcasses are expected to be recovered as most of the KNP area is still under water.”

Meanwhile, KNP guards, task force, protection force along with members from NGOs, WTI and forest employees have been pressed into service in rescuing, recovering and making assessment of species, trapped or dead in the semi-flooded areas of the KNP, which will need more time for fil assessment depending upon the water-level situation of the park area, said DFO Rohini Ballav Sakia.

“Patrolling on NH-37 to NH-39 has been intensified after resuming of plying of vehicles since Tuesday evening, which was suspended at both the ends at Jokholabondha and Numaligarh on August 11 following overflowing of water from the park side for five days for which connection between Upper and Lower Assam was cut off along with parts of Aruchal Pradesh and galand. On the other hand, loss of infrastructure and property will be another burden for the park authority. Prelimiry work for temporary renovation can be started as soon as connectivity becomes visible for transporting required materials for the purposes,” an official said.

“At present KNP species are moving in search of food available on both sides of the NH-37 and the adjacent tea gardens, towards the higher altitudes of Karbi Anglong, for which our men and security personnel are working to fix hoardings, posters and banners to keep speed limit between 20 km to 40 km per hour for small and big vehicles passing through the NH-37 between the park. Fine up to Rs 5,000 will be imposed if any vehicle is found to cross the limited fixed speed after reopening of the NH-37 at the both the ends at Jokholabondha and Numaligarh. Issuing of time card has been resumed but still many vehicles were found not cooperating and we KNP officials urge people to follow the speed restriction within the park area,” said a KNP official on Thursday.

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