August 22, 2019
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Floods force a tiger to nap in house in India

New Delhi, Jul 19 (efe-epa).- A tigress was found napping on a bed inside a house in India's flood-ravaged state of Assam.

The region in northeastern India has been hit by torrential rains and flooding which has affected wildlife as well as humans, with more than one hundred animals killed.

It is believed the tiger fled Kaziranga National Park, where rains have not stopped in more than a week and have brought the water level to almost two meters high in much of the 420 km square territory.

The female Bengal tiger spent the night in a village before a safe passage was created for her to escape to the jungle.

Rathin Barman, of India’s Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation, said: “She came in the morning in search of high ground and somehow entered that house.”

He added that she spent the whole day resting as “she might be very tired in swimming in flood water”.

He praised local villagers for their “excellent” cooperation in helping her return to the wild.

“The tiger was given a free passage yesterday evening. And now she has gone back to the forest again,” Barman said.

Authorities cleared the area of people in the evening and a rescue team slowly guided the tigress to the forest.

“No news of her of venturing to human areas after that,” he added.

The tiger was one of hundreds of animals that, without space for rest or food, have begun to leave the reserve in search of dry places.

“Water is receding now. But still many animals are stranded in the highlands wherever possible,” Barman said.

“We have about 33 artificial highlands inside the park and in the southern boundary we have the natural highland called Karbi hills.

“Flood happens almost every year but not big like this. Kaziranga is a floodplain ecosystem and we need flood. But not big flood like this.”

According to the most recent report from the national park, which was declared a Unesco world heritage site in 1985 and is home to two-thirds of the world’s population of single-horned rhino, 53 of the 199 camps are flooded.

A total of 110 wild animals have been killed by flooding between July 13 and 19, some of them drowned by rising water levels or hit by vehicles or other objects.

Among the animals that died were 90 deer, an elephant, a water buffalo, a boar and 10 rhinos.

In that period 62 animals have been rescued, most of them released again after receiving treatment.

Images from Wildlife Trust India on social networks show dozens of animals injured, stranded on islands, or swimming in floods looking for shelter.

At least nine people have been killed by the rains in recent days, according to official data.

Flooding has also affected about four million livestock and destroyed hundreds of hectares of land.

These weather incidents are common in south Asia at the time of the monsoon rains, between July and August.

Every year they usually cause hundreds of deaths and millions of people are affected in the region. EFE-EPA

igr/rb

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