Tiger 'relaxes' on a bed near flooded Kaziranga

Tiger 'relaxes' on a bed near flooded Kaziranga

Royal Bengal Tiger relaxing inside a house near flooded Kaziranga National Park on Thursday. Photo credit: WTI

A Royal Bengal tiger was on Thursday morning spotted "relaxing" on the bed of a scrap dealer near Assam's Kaziranga National Park, which was almost completely flooded.

Forest officials said Rafiqul Islam, a scrap dealer ran for his life after seeing the tiger relaxing on his bed. The tiger, which is believed to have strayed out of Kaziranga to avoid the flood, however, went inside the jungle around 5 pm after a lot of efforts by the forest department staffs and local residents. 

Staffs of Wildlife Trust of India also rescued two baby rhinos, which were trapped in mud and floodwater inside Kaziranga. The baby rhinos, aged below six months, will be taken care of in the wildlife rescue centre in Kaziranga till their release into the wild. 

According to a bulletin issued by the office of Assam forest minister Parimal Suklabaidya, 73 animals, including six rhinos and an elephant, died in flood in the 434-sqkm national park so far while 57 others were rescued. 

As animals crossed the National Highway 37 to reach highland, 12 hog deers and one sambar died after being hit by vehicles on the highway. 

Death toll rises to 39 

Over 53 lakh residents remained affected by floods in Assam as the death toll rose to 39 with nine more deaths reported on Thursday.

Officials said water level was falling in most areas but over 2.25 lakh people still remained in 1,080 relief camps as the water did not come out of their homes. "Many of them can't go back as their homes were destroyed by the floodwater.

The daily flood bulletin issued by the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) said the nine deaths were reported on Thursday from Biswanath, Sonitpur, Udalguri, Bongaigaon, Barpeta and Morigaon districts.

"As per the assessment so far, 939 houses have been completely damaged while another 2,857 partially damaged. Over 2.12 lakh hectares of cropland, embankments, over 2,300 schools, bridges, roads, culverts have also been severely damaged," it said.