GAUHATI, India (AP) — Veterinarians struggled Wednesday to save the life of a rare rhinoceros that was shot and had its horn cut off by poachers after it wandered out of a flooded national park in northeastern India.
The attack on the one-horned rhino sparked outrage in the state of Assam, home to the world's largest concentration of the rare rhino. Footage of the bleeding rhino with its horn removed and a cut to its ear were broadcast on local television.
"It is a sad day for Assam. I am appalled at the fact that poachers could get away with the horn of a live rhino," said Somyadeep Dutta, an environmentalist.
Heavy rains across Assam have caused flooding in recent days that killed 18 people and forced 1.4 million to flee their homes.
Much of the 480 square kilometer (185 square mile) Kaziranga National Park was also flooded, drowning two rhinos and at least a dozen other animals, mostly deer, said Suresh Chand, Assam's chief wildlife warden.
Many other animals migrated to higher ground. The rhino was one of them, leaving the park for a highland across a busy highway, where trailing guards lost track of it, Chand said.