Kaziranga National Park, Sep.12 : Floods in River Brahmaputra and its tributaries are an annual feature in Assam. This year the floods have also inundated large areas in the Kaziranga National Park, displacing hundreds of people in the region and forcing wild animals out of their habitats.
And, this year nearly 80 per cent of the national park has been flooded, which has happened first time in a decade.
Kaziranaga National Park, which is home to world's two-third rhinos, is presently facing the onslaught of River Brahmaputra. Spread over an area of 378 square kilometres, Kaziranga National Park in northeast India is famous as the home of one-horn rhinoceros.
With a large area of the national park and other adjoining protected areas submerged, wild animals have been forced to move to the highlands. It has raised the possibility of their falling victims to poachers. Besides causing a massive devastation in the national park, the floods pose a threat especially to the rhinos of getting trapped by the poachers. The heavy traffic on National Highway-37 which passes across the national park also witnesses accidents as the animals try to cross the road at night. There are times when accidents keeps on taking place. That's why the number of guards has been raised. You can see the guards everywhere. They are requesting the vehicle drivers to go slow. For the last three-four days, no accidents have taken place. If the government had not taken steps, it could have been dangerous for wild animals," said Biren, resident of the Kaziranga National Park.
Meanwhile, Pobitora National Park, spread over an area of 16 square kilometres, in the Morigaon District of Assam has also been affected due to floods. Adjacent to the Kaziranga, Pobitora is home to rhinos and large a varieties of avian fauna.
"Floodwater is good for the park as it cleans the park...but there is also the fear of poachers. So, we have to remain alert and have to perform our duty well...especially during the night," said Mohammed Abdul Ali, Forest Guard, Pabitara Sanctuary. The government has announced relief measures for the area and a massive relief and rehabilitation efforts has been launched. By Vaschipem Kamondang/ Peter Alex Todd