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Highlands built at Kaziranga National Park to save animals from flood fury

Scientifically highlands in Kaziranga National Park provide refuge to animals during the floods (Pics. Courtesy ians)_india)

With flooding being a regular occurrence in Assam, the State Forest Department has over the years built 40 highlands in Kaziranga National Park and other wildlife sanctuaries and national parks to allow animals like one-horned rhinos, Royal Bengal tigers, Asian elephants, swamp deers and wild water buffaloes among others, to take refuge.

Besides KNP, other habitats that are flooded are Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary, Manas National Park and Orang National Park.

Talking to media, Assam’s Minister for Environment and Forest, Parimal Sukhabaidya said: “We are in a complete state of preparedness to rescue animals from the onslaught of the ongoing floods in the wildlife preserves. About 40 highlands have been constructed in the national parks and wildlife sanctuaries as animal shelters during high floods.”

Designed scientifically, these highlands have adequate grass, and fruit yielding plants like elephant apple and Indian gooseberry, he said. “These highlands have enabled us to reduce the animal casualty during the annual floods.”

Besides, this Suklabaidya said more than 25 boats have been kept in readiness for rescuing animals.

KNP Director, Jatina Sarma remarked: “Kaziranga has a total of 144 manmade highlands, including 33 big ones. Most of them were built before 2014. In addition, we have built an 8.5 km long road cum highland for providing shelter to the animals during floods and for patrolling.”