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Escaped from flooded Kaziranga park in Assam, Tiger takes refuge in shop

By Anuj Cariappa
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Guwahati, July 18: A Royal Bengal tiger escaped from a flooded Kaziranga National Park (KNP) on Thursday morning, stretched out on a shophouse bed, highlighting the plight of animals caught up in the deluge.

Over 95% of the Park is submerged, rendering animals shelterless and forcing them to look for refuge in human habitations.

Image credit: WTI

The pictures of the Royal Bengal Tiger on the bed at a shop at Harmoti near Bagori range of the World Heritage Site along National Highway 37 on Thursday were widely shared on social media after the Wildlife Trust of India posted it on Twitter.

"The tiger has entered a house and is relaxing on a bed. #AssamFloods bring in unusual guests!" "#JustIn our vet @samshulwildvet is making plans with #AssamForestDepartment @kaziranga_ to tranquilise the #tiger", the WTI said.

"Our vet @samshulwildvet is on a mission to tranquilise this #tiger to get him out of bed!", the organisation which is cooperating with the state's forest department in the massive efforts to save wildlife during the flood, said in a series of tweets.

Locals told reporters the tiger entered the shop of Rafikul Islam at around 7 am and was noticed relaxing on his bed. Over 95% of the Park is submerged, rendering animals shelterless and forcing them to look for refuge in human habitations.

KNP Bagori Range Officer Pankaj Bora, however, said the tiger was not being disturbed and only its movement was being monitored. Forest officials are waiting for the animal to leave on its own. If it doesn't, only then attempts will be made to shift it to a forest.

Several famed one-horned rhinoceros and other animals have reportedly died in the floods that have engulfed vast swathes in Assam's 29 out of 33 districts.

Large parts of Manas National Park and Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary are also submerged, forcing wild animals, including including rhinos, elephants, deer and wild boars, to take refuge in artificial highlands constructed within the parks or migrate to the southern highlands of Karbi Anglong hills.

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