Nepal launches operation to bring back rhinos swept away in floods

Nepal launches operation to bring back rhinos swept away in floods

Nepal launches operation to bring back rhinos swept away in floods: Nepal has launched an operation to bring back four endangered one-horned rhinos that were swept away to various places in the country and to India during the recent floods.

Chitwan National Park (CNP) authorities have started rescuing four one-horned rhinos that were swept away by the Rapti river flood recently.

According to the park officials, one of the five rhinos swept away by the flood was found dead in Gandak Canal while four others have been located in Nawalparasi and along the Indian border.

"The flood carried away three rhinos to Nawalparasi while the remaining two were spotted in India's Balmiki Nagar and Bagaha," said Narendra Aryal, assistant conservation officer of the CNP.

Indian one-horned rhinoceroses wade through flood waters in a submerged area

"Authorities have located a two-year-old baby rhino at Bagaha, 42-km southeast of Balmiki Nagar in India," Aryal said.

Talks with the authorities from Indian sides are being held to fetch the dislocated rhinos from Indian territories, he said.

"We will first rescue the rhino spotted in a sugar-cane field in Bagaha. The rhino is trapped in floodwaters," Aryal said.

A CNP team led by Aryal reached Bagaha to rescue the rhino on Tuesday. The team, comprising more than three dozen people, will be aided by three elephants.

"A lot has to be considered before shooting a tranquilliser dart on a rhino trapped in floodwaters," he said.

Six deer were also killed near CNP in the floods. Police said that they found the carcasses of six deer on the banks of the Narayani River of Chitawan district in southwestern Nepal on Tuesday.

"They were killed by the flood and brought here," police said.

Basu Dhungana, a wildlife conservationist, said animals that live close to water bodies and low laying areas are highly vulnerable at the times of flood.

"To mitigate the risk of animals getting trapped and killed by floods, we should build high grounds close to their habitats," he added.

The floods triggered by incessant rains, in various places across the Chitwan district has wreaked havoc not only on human settlements but also the habitats of wild animals, resulting in the death of animals within and outside the Park, the CNP said.

The death toll from widespread flooding and landslides in Nepal has reached 120 with nearly 35 people still unaccounted for and over six million affected by incessant rainfall across the country.

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