Chitwan, September 12
The flood that struck the Tarai region a month ago has badly affected wildlife in Chitwan National park.
The disturbance created by the flood has adversely affected rare species at the park. The flood has swept away a large number of species which were food for the big cats. The grassland has been completely covered by mud compelling wild animals to stray into human settlements.
Of the total CNP area, grassland covers 12 per cent. CNP Chief Protection Officer Ramchandra Kandel said wild animals, such as the one-horned rhino and elephants that rely on grass, were hit hard after the grassland was covered by mud.
Herbivorous animals of the park have started entering human settlement for want of food. “Around 20 elephants enter human settlements at Parasi’s Thori in a herd on a daily basis,” Kandel said.
Similarly, wild tuskers have started eating paddy at Chitwan’s Meghauli.
Local Krishna Prasad Bhurtel said a herd of tuskers entered the paddy field for want of grass inside the CNP.
Likewise, elephants and bears have started intruding upon various areas of Madi Municipality. Shortage of food has equally affected the carnivores of the park.
Kandel said flood had killed around 1,200 animals including, cheetal, ratuwa and nilgai, at the park, which had put carnivores such as tigers at the receiving end.
CNP is preparing to clear the mud from the grassland. “We shall work to remove the sand and mud from the grassland immediately,” Kandel said.
A version of this article appears in print on September 13, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.