Sushanta Roy is a journalist in the north eastern states of Assam and Meghalaya, India, who photographs and writes about the people, animals and flora, and the things that affect them.

Diphu August 31: Due to inundation of globally famed Kaziranga National Park’s marshy domain located near the inter-district edge of Karbi Anglong’s vicinity, casualty of the park animals have began   while trying to cross over the national highway 715, better known as the iniquitous  killer highway.

The flood hit animals by tradition take shelter in the foothills of Karbi Anglong forest adjacent to the marshes of the national park across the national highway.

No Sanctuary

A hog deer was killed by a speeding vehicle yesterday when it was trying to break out of the floodwaters of Kaziranga National Park, as vast expanses of the park have been engulfed by flood water.

According to Assam Forest department, more or less seventy per cent of the Dibru-Saikhowa National Park, next to Dibrugarh district has been inundated by the rising water of Brahmaputra, forcing the animals to flee to moorland, at least three feral horses have died in the deluge in that wonderful swampy national park.

Full grown female hog badger walks away after release in Rangalu forest, Kaziranga, under Birhapahar Range.
Full grown female hog badger walks away after her release in the woods of Kaziranga at Rangalu forest under Birhapahar Range on 28th September 2015. Photo: Subhamoy Bhattacharjee/IFAW-WTI

Assam’s diverse biological centers successively lose its biodiversity at some stage of monsoon, and the sanctuary animals suffer habitat loss.

Killer Highway

Kaziranga National park and the flood, it transpires as a ‘necessary evil’ for the flora and fauna of the park; speeding vehicles of National Highway 715 kill the flood stricken animals, which is recorded in the government logbook as ‘by way of accident.’  The blood-spattered legacy is continuing without any hitch.

A word of probability has been jingled by Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma recently, who is planning to construct a flyover or over bridge covering the entire extent of the slayer highway through which animals’ crossover to Karbi hills to escape death.

“We all take pride in Kaziranga National Park. In wake of floods causing displacement of Kaziranga animals & putting them at risk, may I appeal to truck / other vehicles to avoid NH 715 for commuting between lower & upper Assam & use NH 15 through North Bank instead?”, wrote Chief Minister Sarma in his tweet.