Heavy flooding in north-east India has left more than a dozen threatened one-horned rhinos dead in the region’s largest wildlife park.
More than 600 animals have died, including elephant calves and various species of deer.
S.K. Bora, director of the Kaziranga National Park in the state of Assam, said many animals had fled and were yet to return despite the flood waters receding.
“Most of the animals either drowned or were mown down by speeding vehicles when they tried to flee the heavy flooding,” he said.
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.
Kaziranga is home to the world’s largest population of one-horned rhinos.
A 2012 census counted 2,290 of the rhinos in the park, out of a global population of 3,300.
Kaziranga has fought a sustained battle against rhino poachers, who kill the animals for their horns which can fetch high prices in some Asian countries.
There have been concerns that poachers would prey on rhinos that had been forced out of the protective ring of the park by the flooding.