Kaziranga is the only national park reserve in India where the rhinoceros can be seen in its natural habitat. You also get to see the tiger, elephant, the hyena, Indian deer, sambar (spotted deer), nilgai (blue bull), chinkara and the chowsingha (antelope), along with the crocodile and the long-tailed langur. Kaziranga is also home to a wide variety of exotic birds.
What makes Kaziranga National Park different from the other forest reserves in India is its sheer size and the abundant variety of flora and fauna. And it is probably the only forest where you can still find one-horned rhinos.
Kaziranga National Park - Wildlife
One Horned Rhino
Kaziranga has become the last breeding ground of the fabled one-horned Indian rhino, once found throughout the Himalayan foothills. But today, rhinos are confined to a few sanctuaries in Assam, Bengal, and Nepal. They are vulnerable, shortsighted vegetarians, whose much sought after horn is nothing but harmless compressed hair! The supposedly armor plated rhino only has thick folds of gray skin over its shoulders and hocks. The short squat legs, quaint chapatti-roll ears, and silly little tail make it appear ungainly. Thriving in Kaziranga's flat elephant grass country dotted with shallow swamps and dense jungles, rhinos only have short tusks for warding off attacks. Rescued rhino calves become quite friendly, eating out of your hand if they trust you.
Elephant herds of 2000 or more keep migrating between Kaziranga, Darrang, and the Mikir Hills. These animals have a propensity for using common travel corridors, and frequently find their ancient migration routes blocked by buildings and fences. One can see entire families indulging in playful river baths, snacking off wild bananas and jackfruit, or scratching itchy hides against some tree. Only solitary bulls are prone to create trouble by charging or contesting right of way. This wonderful, wise animal too is extremely vulnerable today because of its size, and need for vast quantities of food and water.
Royal Bengal Tigers
Tigers, on the other hand, seem to be thriving due to stringent protection measures by the state government. The WWF re-education programs link wildlife tourism to rising incomes and employment for the local people. These powerful animals don't attack unless they are injured or when protecting their cubs. These predators are most active early in the morning, late afternoon and evening, lying down during the mid day heat. At night, one often hears roaring or yowling if intruders disturb the tiger or leopard on a kill or at there resting site.
Other Wildlife Species
Other wildlife species that you would appreciate and notice in Kaziranga, a few lakes inside the park are home to 5,000 birds, the most important being cranes and flamingoes. Both greater and lesser flamingoes rummaged among aquatic vegetation for food.
Kaziranga National Park - How to Reach
Kaziranga can be reached from Guwahati by road. Alternatively, one can take a boat ride on the mighty Brahmaputra River. Jeeps or cars can also be hired to reach Kaziranga through a narrow road. You need to leave the jeep after some time and hop on an elephants to go inside the forest reserve.
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