Flooding forces rhino out of Indian park, he blocks road traffic for 3 hours

Flooding forces rhino out of Indian park, he blocks road traffic for 3 hours

Rescue teams in boats have pulled stranded rhinos from floodwaters which have hit Kaziranga National Park, home to the world's largest population of the one-horned animals. Photograph: (AFP)

Agencies Guwahati, Assam, India Aug 3, 2016, 01.28 PM (IST)
Traffic came to a halt at National Highway 37 in Golaghat district of India's northeastern Assam state on Tuesday as a rhinoceros from the neighbouring Kaziranga National Park wreaked havoc on the road.

Forest department personnel, with some help from the local residents, toiled for at least three hours trying to get the mammal back to its habitat.

The irate rhino damaged vehicles and huts alongside the highway and was seen charging at the crowds that had gathered a few times.

Incessant monsoon rains in the tea and oil-rich state of Assam have led the burgeoning Brahmaputra river and its tributaries to burst their banks - affecting more than half of the region's 32 districts.

Almost 80 per cent of Kaziranga National Park - home to two-third of the world's endangered one-horned rhinoceroses - has been submerged in water, forcing animals to look for shelter on roads and in human settlements.

Care for orphaned baby rhinos

Wildlife officers appealed on Tuesday for help in caring for eight rare baby rhinos feared orphaned by recent deadly floods in the remote northeast.

Rescue teams in boats have pulled the stranded rhinos from floodwaters which have hit Kaziranga National Park, home to the world's largest population of the one-horned animals.

Rathin Barman, deputy director of the Wildlife Trust of India, said they were now struggling to feed and care for the rhinos, aged from one to eight months.

"Some of them are injured and are being treated by our staff in the rescue centre. We are right now hand-raising them, providing them formula milk and essential vitamins," Barman told AFP.

"We will release them only after two years," he added of the eight.

"We appeal to the public to donate money for the upkeep of the rescued babies. They drink six packs of milk a day which costs 1,500 rupees and this will continue for a minimum of one year," he said.

"It is sad that we lost about 17 rhinos in the floods this time, which is something unprecedented," Assam Forest Minister Pramilla Rani Brahma told AFP on Tuesday.

(Reuters & AFP)

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

The irate animal damaged vehicles and huts along the highway and was seen charging a few times at the crowds that had gathered

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