Jun 17, 2003
Floods that have displaced 400,000
people in northeastern India have encroached a key refuge of the
sending animals fleeing for higher ground, officials said Tuesday.
Brahmaputra River, swelled by monsoon rains, has flooded part of
the 430 square-kilometer (165 square-mile) Kaziranga National
Park, warden N.K. Vasu told AFP by telephone.
We have already seen herds of elephants migrating from the park
to the adjoining hills of Karbi Anglong for safety," he
The park, in Assam state some 220 kilometers
(135 miles) east of the provincial capital Guwahati, is home to
out of an estimated 2,300 left in the world.
Last year's floods
drowned at least 70 animals in the park, including rhinos. While
the current high waters look unlikely at this point
to kill wildlife, they lead to other threats.
Poachers have a tendency to target animals, taking advantage of
the floods. We have already put forest guards on alert in the
animals take refuge," Vasu said.
Last year two of the rhinoceroses
who fled the floods were killed by poachers. Vasu said restrictions
had also been imposed on truckers
at the national highway that crosses the park, as speeding vehicles
have killed dozens of animals in the past, particularly deer.
400,000 people have been displaced by the floods in nearly 450
villages in Assam. The Brahmaputra could rise further as more
is anticipated, the meteorological centre in Guwahati said Tuesday.All
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