MORIGOAN: Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary in central Assam, the most dense habitat of one horned rhinos in the world, has been completely submerged by flood waters of river Brahmaputra, a senior forest department official today said.
Due to the annual deluge submerging the sanctuary, all animals, including the Great Indian One-Horn Rhinoceros, are proceeding to nearby highlands for shelter, said Divisional Forest Officer, Guwahati Wildlife Division, P Boruah.
The floods have breached the main connecting PWD Road from National Highway to Pobitora at several points today disrupting surface communication to the sanctuary, Boruah said.
As shortage of fodder for animals within the sanctuary has already cropped up, he said the forest department has arranged alternative fodder supply to the rhinos and other animals there.
The DFO, who is camping at Pobitora, said armed forest guards are intensifying vigil within the sanctuary to prevent poaching during floods.
Country boats have been pressed into service for patrol duty to combat poaching in the sanctuary, he said.
The 38.8 sq km Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary, situated in the flood plains of River Brahmaputra and in the district of Morigaon, with both forest and swamp land, is the habitat of 100 rhinos, 500 wild buffaloes, more than 400 hogs, besides thousands of different species of birds, snakes etc.
Of the total 38.80 sq km notified area of the park, only 16 sq km is the effective rhino habitat, sanctuary officials said.