Experts urged to reduce animal deaths in floods



Experts urged to reduce animal deaths in floods Guwahati: Assam Forest Minister Rockybul Hussain Saturday said the government had asked experts to work out a mechanism to reduce animal deaths during floods.

"Floods are a natural phenomenon. Every year, the (Kaziranga) national park gets flooded. However, we have asked people involved with wildlife preservation and protection to see if we can workout a mechanism to reduce animal casualties," the minister said.

Floods hit Kaziranga June 26 and almost the entire park was flooded. On June 29, the waters were flowing 1.44 metres above the danger level.

The park is still flooded but the waters are flowing below the danger mark, the minister said.

The national park lost 559 animals in floods this year including 14 one-horned rhinos, an elephant and many other species. A total of 475 Hog Deer also died.

"The park witnessed severe floods in 1988, 1998, 2004 and 2008. While we lost 1,203 animals in 1988, 652 died in 1998. This year, we have lost 559 animals," Hussain said.

He appreciated the effort of the locals in rescuing wildlife.

Kaziranga, spread over 860 sq km, is a UNESCO world heritage site and famous for one-horned rhinos. According to the rhino census of April this year, the park has 2,290 one-horned rhinos.

IANS