35 boats given to Kaziranga to deal with floods



Guwahati: The International Fund for Animal Welfare - Wildlife Trust of India (IFAW-WTI) has provided 35 boats to the Kaziranga National Park authorities to assist in anti-poaching patrolling during the ongoing flood season.

The park, a UNESCO World Heritage site that houses more than 70 percent of the world's greater one-horned rhinoceros, witnesses flooding every year. This year, too, the park was flooded.

The boats are given to help the local field staff in the park in their patrolling (anti-poaching) activities during the floods. These boats will help authorities in rescue and rehabilitation of animals, and aid the anti-poaching mechanism.

"We are happy to have this logistics support from IFAW-WTI. The boats will be of great help to execute quick response during animal rescue in the park. We appreciate IFAW-WTI initiatives for this noble gesture," said N.K. Vasu, director of the park.

"The vast area around the camps inside the forest get flooded every year. We can keep vigil with these boats in those areas vulnerable to rhino poaching. With these boats it will be very easy to patrol in the park during the flooding season," said Ranjit Saikia, a senior forest guard of the eastern range of the national park.

"IFAW-WTI is committed towards welfare and conservation of wildlife and we are trying our best to support the park. With our long experiences with the conservation efforts of park management we felt these boats will be of great use for the benefits of the wildlife as well as the frontline forest staff who stay inside the park during these tough flood months," said Rathin Barman, deputy director, WTI.

The national park is located in the flood plains of river Brahmaputra and monsoon months are the toughest period for the frontline forest staff to keep vigil in areas that are hard to reach, which are especially prone to poaching threats.

IANS