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SOS Rhino : In the News : Endangered animals killed due to flood fury in India's Assam

Endangered animals killed due to flood fury in India's Assam


Guwahati, July 9, IRNA -- At least a dozen endangered wild animals, including rhinos and elephants, were killed while trying to escape thefury of the floods in India's northeastern state of Assam, officials Wednesday said.

A forest department spokesman said two Asiatic wild elephants were electrocuted Tuesday in the adjoining Meghalaya state after the herd strayed away from a reserved forest in western Assam to escape the floods.

"A 70 to 80 strong elephant herd was moving towards a forest in Meghalaya from Assam to escape the floods when two of the animals got trapped in an area where a high tension electric cable was lying on the ground," the official said. The two elephants were charred to death upon hitting the high voltage electric cable.

At least six animals, including a rhino and a buffalo calf, two
hog deer's and sambars, were drowned inside the renowned Kaziranga National Park in eastern Assam, 220 kilometers from Assam's capital Guwahati.

"Floodwaters have covered more than half of the 430 square kilometer sanctuary," Kaziranga park warden N.K. Vasu told IRNA by telephone.

Herds of elephants and rhinos fleeing the park to an adjoining hill nearby to escape the floods have fallen victims to tribal poachers.

A few animals were killed by speeding vehicles as they cross a highway that runs along the park, the official said.

Kaziranga is home to the world's largest concentration of one- horned rhinoceros. There are an estimated 1,600 rhinos at Kaziranga out of a total world population of some 2,300 of this thick-skinned pachyderm.

At least 20 persons were drowned in floods in the northeast, besides displacing more than 1.5 million people.

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