Flood havoc

Published: Monday 31 August 1998

THE usually docile animals of the Kaziranga National Park in Assam, after a month-long desperate attempt to flee incessant floods, hunger and killer vil-lagers, have turned violent. A number of incidents of wild animals killing each other and attacking humans have been reported. Two victims of the desperate animals are currently recuperating from the attacks in state hospitals.

The 435-sq km Kaziranga National Park has been flooded by the water of the Brahmaputra since early June. With their natural habitat inundated, wild animals are fleeing the park to the Mikri Hills in the south in search of food and shelter. But to do so, they have to cross national Highway 37.

Officials put the number of dead animals at 42: Of them, 29 had drowned. The animals are hungry and react vio-lently at the slighest provocation. "We have even stopped use of speedboats to survey the area because the sound scares them and they try to overturn the boat," said Debashish Chakravorty, forest ranger of Kohora Range.

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