Wild animals in Chitwan National Parks at receiving end post-flooding

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(Narayan Adhikari) 

Chitwan - The wild animals in the Chitwan National Park (CNP) in Chitwan district are at the receiving end for lack of food and loss of habitat following the flood incidents that swamped a large area of the 952 square kilometres park, adversely affecting the ecosystem. 

According to the Chief Conservation Officer at the Park, Ramchandra Kandel, the flood in Thulo Rapti River and other streams had swamped the rippling grassland in the park that constitutes 12 per cent of the sanctuary. 
As a result, the herbivorous and omnivorous animals in the park such as one-horned rhino, elephant, axis deer, wild boars and bears among others have started moving out of the park and entering human settlements in search of food. 

Some 1,200 wild animals such as wild boars, rhinos and axis deer among others in the park were estimated to have been killed in the flooding incidents in the Park, shared Conservation Officer Kandel, adding some eight rhinos were dislocated or swept away too. 

The park enlisted in the World Heritage Site, is home to various types of vegetations and wildlife including 605 rhinos, 120 tigers, 368 blue bulls and more than 800 species of birds. 

"Wild animals in the park that falls in the area of Makawanpur, Nawalparashi and Parsa districts besides Chitwan have started entering the human settlements adjacent to the park, creating menace among the locals," said Kandel. 

He explained, "Hordes of elephants have started menacing the locals eating their harvest or stored rice while bears and tigers' footprints were found aplenty in Megahuli and Madi in Chitwan." 

The endangered animals in the park themselves are at danger in lack of food or consumption of contaminated foods in the aftermath of the massive flooding. The eight rhinos that were dislocated have been brought back to their habitat but they look languished, according to veterinary doctor Kamal Gaire. 

Keeping wild populations of the Park and enabling an environment for them to thrive in the aftermath of flood is an uphill challenge for the Park, added Gaire, pressing for the safety of the humans in the adjacent settlements. 

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National News Agency, Nepal

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