by Staff Writers
Guwahati, India (AFP) July 9, 2012
Devastating floods in northeast India have killed around 600 animals in the region's largest wildlife park, including more than a dozen threatened one-horned rhinos, officials said Monday.
"Most of the animals either drowned or were mown down by speeding vehicles when they tried to flee the heavy flooding," said S.K. Bora, director of 430-square-kilometre (165-square-mile) Kaziranga National Park in Assam state.
"The water level is now receding, but the vast majority of animals that fled the park are yet to return," he told AFP by telephone.
According to Bora, various species of deer accounted for more than 500 of the animal victims, which also included 14 rhinos and two elephant calves.
Assam has been the focus of severe regional flooding in recent weeks, triggered by heavy monsoon rains that caused the Brahmaputra river to burst its banks, inundating large areas of the state.
Nearly 130 people have been killed and six million displaced by the floodwaters, according to official figures.
Kaziranga is home to the world's single largest population of one-horned rhinos. A 2012 census in the park counted 2,290 of the rhinos, out of a global population of 3,300.
The species declined to near extinction in the early 1900s, and is currently listed as "vulnerable" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Kaziranga has fought a sustained battle against rhino poachers, who kill the animals for their horns, which fetch huge prices in some Asian countries where they are deemed to have aphrodisiac qualities.
Assam Forests Minister Rockybul Hussain voiced concerns that poachers would prey on those rhinos that had been forced out of the protective ring of the park by the flooding.
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
When the Earth Quakes
A world of storm and tempest
Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.
Russia mourns flood dead as questions mount
Krymsk, Russia (AFP) July 9, 2012
Russia on Monday held a day of mourning for at least 171 people who died in its worst flooding disaster as questions mounted over whether officials did enough to warn of the impending calamity. Flags flew at half-mast over the Kremlin and other official buildings and entertainment programmes were shelved as Russians asked how so many people lost their lives and property in the catastrophe in ... read more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|