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Indian deluge deals death to threatened rhinoceros

GUWAHATI, India -- Devastating floods in northeast India have killed around 600 animals in the region's largest wildlife park, including more than a dozen threatened one-horned rhinos, officials said Monday.

“Most of the animals either drowned or were mown down by speeding vehicles when they tried to flee the heavy flooding,” said S.K. Bora, director of 430-square-kilometre (165-square-mile) Kaziranga National Park in Assam state.

“The water level is now receding, but the vast majority of animals that fled the park are yet to return,” he told AFP by telephone.

According to Bora, various species of deer accounted for more than 500 of the animal victims, which also included 14 rhinos and two elephant calves.

Assam has been the focus of severe regional flooding in recent weeks, triggered by heavy monsoon rains that caused the Brahmaputra river to burst its banks, inundating large areas of the state.

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