Homeless and helpless…

The one-horned Indian Rhinoceros, Kaziranga National Park, Assam
Picture Credit, Roop Jayanta Saikia

Kaziranga National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site is located in Assam, India. It is home to tigers (declared a Tiger Reserve since 2006), wild buffaloes, elephants, deer, migratory birds and the great one-horned Indian rhinoceros.

It’s history as a protected area can be traced back to 1904, when Lady Mary Curzon persuaded her husband, Lord Curzon, the then Viceroy of India to take measures for protecting the already dwindling population of one-horned rhinos.

Spread across the flood-plains of the Brahmaputra River, Kaziranga faces constant threat from both man-made and natural calamities. Every year, the animals witness wide scale devastation in the form of illegal poaching and natural floods.

They have not beem spared this year too. With incessant rain hitting the north-eastern states, 90% of the national park is almost entirely under water leading to the deaths of 2 rhinos and a total of 18 wild animals. The flood situation has worsened and the swelling, raging river has rendered these animals homeless in the state of Assam.

It is heart-breaking especially, when one has winessed the wild and majestic beauty of Kaziranga and its inhabitants. We were fortunate enough to have sighted the one-horned rhinos in their sanctuary. But, it seems very likely that this beautiful creature could get wiped out completely from existence, soon. An endangered species, the diminishing count is alarming and disheartening.

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