Wildlife officers are racing against time to rescue animals caught in floodwaters from torrential monsoon rains in India’s famed Kaziranga National Park as the death toll rose to 215.
Most of the World Heritage-listed Kaziranga National Park – home to two-thirds of the world’s remaining one-horned rhinos – in the northeastern Indian state of Assam was submerged by heavy rains.
While some animals were able to survive by fleeing to higher ground so far 215 wild creatures, including 19 rhinos and 129 hog deer have died, officials said.
The floodwaters have started to ease in some areas but forestry officials and rescuers from the Wildlife Trust of India continue to find distressed animals trapped in the floodwaters.
On Wednesday, a rhino calf was pulled onto a rescue speedboat and taken to a rehabilitation center where it was checked by a vet.
“Today we rescued a rhino calf which is about two months old... She is very weak,” the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation’s senior veterinarian Panjit Basumatary told AFP.
“The flood this year has been massive and we found several distressed wild animals, especially in the fringe areas (of the park).”
Basumatary said he was hopeful that most of the animals could be released back into the wild after they receive treatment at the center.