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Kaziranga tiger camps on villager’s warm bed

Over 95 per cent of the park is submerged, rendering animals shelterless

By Sanjoy Hazarika and PTI in Bokakhat
  • Published 19.07.19, 1:53 AM
  • Updated 19.07.19, 1:05 PM
  • a min read
  •  
The Royal Bengal tiger takes shelter on a bed in the house at Harmoti (Picture credit: Wildlife Trust of India)

Images of a fully grown tiger “relaxing” on a bed in Assam’s flooded Kaziranga National Park has thrown the spotlight on the plight of animals as the state battles the worst deluge in a decade.

The picture of the Royal Bengal tiger on the bed at Harmoti near Bagori range of the World Heritage Site along National Highway 37 on Thursday was widely shared on social media after the Wildlife Trust of India posted it on Twitter.

“The tiger has entered a house and is relaxing on a bed. #AssamFloods bring in unusual guests!”

“#JustIn our vet samshulwildvet is making plans with #AssamForestDepartment kaziranga_ to tranquilise the #tiger”, the WTI said.

The feline fled the floodwaters of Kaziranga National Park and after moving around 500 metres along the road, jumped over a wall and entered the house of a resident, Safiul Ali, who owns an adjoining dhaba. Entering the room, the tiger climbed the bed and fell asleep.

“Though the tiger saw me, it did not attack and looked tired,” Ali, who lives alone, said.

Forest and police officials reached the site, as well as doctors from Kaziranga wildlife rehabilitation centre at Panbari. Efforts to tranquillise the animal were continuing till the filing of this report.

Locals said the tiger entered the Ali’s premises at 7am and was noticed relaxing on his bed. Over 95 per cent of the park is submerged, rendering animals shelterless and forcing them to look for refuge on higher ground and in human habitation. Kaziranga’s Bagori range officer Pankaj Bora, however, said the tiger was not being disturbed and only its movement was being monitored.

Forest officials are waiting for the animal to leave on its own.

“The floods in Kaziranga is a boon for its young ecology,” said Jogest Bora, a retired professor of botany of DKD College. “But at the same time, the government must ensure safety of animals during floods,” he said.

Rhino deaths: Two more rhinos drowned at Kohora and Bagari ranges, raising the toll to seven.

According to divisional forest officer Rohini Ballav Saikia, a total of 57 hog deer, five sambar, one elephant, five wild boars, one swamp deer and a porcupine died of drowning or by being run over.