More than 100 wild animals, including at least eight rare rhinos, have died in recent floods in a national park in northeast India, officials said.
Kaziranga Park in Assam state is home to the world’s largest population of one-horned rhinos, which was threatened with extinction at the turn of the century.
But this year’s monsoon rains have almost 85% of the park underwater.
The floods killed at least 190 people and displaced millions of people in Assam as well as in Nepal.
Kaziranga Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is home to at least 2,400 one-horned rhinos.
Park officials told the Hindustan Times eight one-horned rhinos drowned in the recent rains, while another died of natural causes last month.
- The park that shoots people to protect rhinos
Dozens of other animals, including deer, buffaloes and porcupines, also died – many from drowning, though others were struck by vehicles as they tried to escape flood waters.
All over Assam, heavy rains have submerged thousands of villages. Hundreds of relief camps have been set up to house the displaced.
Floods and landslides are common during monsoons in northeast India and neighboring countries.
But this year’s flooding comes as India struggles to stop the spread of the coronavirus, with more than a million cases reported across the country, the third highest number in the world.
In the Indian state of Bihar, which lies in southern Nepal and was locked again earlier this week, villages were flooded and transport disrupted by heavy rains.
At least 79 people have died in Assam alone in recent weeks, while Nepal has reported 117 deaths.