Monsoon-induced floods in the north-eastern state of Assam in India have had a devastating effect on the region, killing 121 people and displacing over two million more. The floods have also hit the area’s endangered wildlife, resulting in the death of more than 400 hog deer and 14 one-horned rhinos.
Located in Assam, the Kaziranga National Park is home to nearly two-thirds of the world’s remaining one-horned rhinos, one of the world’s most protected animals. Almost the entire forest area has been submerged in flood waters and park authorities are working round the clock to rescue surviving animals and transfer them to a safer area.
According to WWF, only 600 one-horned rhinos survived in the wild by 1975. Due to conservation efforts, the global number now stands at above 2,900.
The flooding in the region erupted when the Brahmaputra River swelled beyond capacity due to monsoonal rainfall, washing away entire villages. The heavy rains have also triggered landslides in the area.
Officials say these floods are the worst the area has seen in over a decade, with the state Environment Minister Rokybul Hussain labeling the situation a catastrophe. The government has pledged five billion rupees (90 million USD) in aid and assistance to Assam.
Author: Anna Rees/ RESET editorial