Guwahati: The Assam Forest Department has constructed about 40 highlands to provide shelter for animals due to ongoing flooding in Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve (KNPTR) and other national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in Assam. ‘State.
Parimal Suklabaidya, State Forestry Minister said on Wednesday that the forest department is fully prepared to deal with the current flooding situation and in full readiness to save animals from the onslaught of the deluge in Kaziranga and other national parks and wildlife sanctuaries.
“We have successfully completed the construction of about 40 highlands to deal with the prevailing flood situation in Kaziranga and other national parks and wildlife sanctuaries,” he said, adding that “The highlands are scientifically designed with provision for adequate grass and fruit trees such as elephant apple and Indian gooseberry.
“These highlands have allowed us to reduce animal losses during annual floods,” he said.
The minister, who closely monitors the flood situation in national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, said, “Kaziranga bears the brunt of floods every year, big or small. We are fully equipped to deal with any kind of requirement as well as food arrangements for government officials and forestry personnel deployed for animal rescue operations in Kaziranga.
The forestry minister said forestry officials were working around the clock given the flooding situation and working closely with Kaziranga National Park officials to ensure the safety of the animals.
“More than 25 boats are ready for animal rescue in Kaziranga,” he said.
Saying that a host of initiatives have been taken by his department to deal with the deluge in a better and more efficient manner, Suklabaidya revealed that a baby elephant was rescued from drowning on Tuesday morning.
Meanwhile, KNPTR director Jatin Sharma said the park has a total of 144 artificial highlands, including 33 large ones to shelter animals during floods.
“In addition to that, we built an 8.5 km long road on the highlands to provide shelter for animals during floods and for patrols,” he said.
Sharma said KNPTR is fully prepared for any eventuality, with country boats and speedboats kept ready to be deployed for animal rescue.
“Forestry staff are also on high alert. In addition, vaccination of livestock and camp elephants has been carried out near the outskirts of the park for the last month and a half to prevent the spread of diseases from domestic animals to wild animals,” he said.
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