Floods hit Kaziranga Park, forest guard feared drowned

Guwahati: Assam's Kaziranga National Park, home to highly endangered one-horned rhinos, was facing a serious flood threat with half of its area submerged by rising waters of the Brahmaputra in which a forest guard drowned today.

Officials said guard Mahendra Karmakar fell off an elephant while crossing a river at Betkhati under Kohora range of the park and was feared drowned.

Meanwhile, nearly 50 per cent of the about 800 sq km park was under water of the river Brahmaputra due to onset of monsoon and heavy rainfall during the past week.

Prohibitory orders have been clamped on the national highway running along the park to curb the speed of vehicles and avert casualty to animals.

The animals, faced by rising water, tend to cross the highway and migrate to the foothills of nearby Karbi Anglong district.

There are several instances of animals getting crushed under speeding vehicles or being poached.

Meanwhile, patrolling has been intensified in all the four ranges -- Kohora, Bagori, Burapahar and Agratoli -- to prevent poaching as the poachers take advantage of the rising water and target the hapless animals inside the park which is a world heritage site.