Floods force tired tiger into residents bed


A tiger lying on a bed in Assam stateImage copyright

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The tiger was seen relaxing in a bed in Assam state

A female tiger which fled a wildlife park in India’s flood-ravaged state of Assam was found relaxing on a bed inside a local resident’s house.

She is believed to have fled the Kaziranga National Park, where 92 animals have died in recent days amid heavy flooding.

Officials from a wildlife conservation group arrived at the house and created a safe escape route for her.

She was guided in the direction of the jungle.

According to the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), the tigress was first spotted next to a highway on Thursday morning, some 200 metres away from the national park.

She was likely to have been disturbed by the busy road and ended up seeking refuge in the house, which is located near the highway, it said.

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The house owner fled as soon as he saw the tiger

Rathin Barman, who led the rescue operation, said the tigress entered the house – which is next to a shop – at 07:30 local time (02:00 GMT) and slept throughout the day.

“She was very exhausted and had a nice day-long nap,” he told the BBC.

The house owner, Motilal, who also owns the adjoining shop, fled the house along with his family members as soon as they saw the tiger walking in.

“The great thing was that nobody disturbed her so she could rest. There’s a lot of respect for wildlife in this region,” Mr Barman said.

“[Motilal] says he will preserve the bed sheet and pillow on which the tiger rested.”

WTI officials were later called to the scene and began preparing a safe escape route for her.

They blocked traffic on the highway for an hour and set off firecrackers to wake the animal up. She eventually left the house at 17:30 local time, crossed the highway and went in the direction of the forest.

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Media captionFloods cause death and destruction in north India

Mr Barman said it was not clear if she had actually entered the forest or if she had just “walked off into an adjoining area”.

The Unesco-recognised Kaziranga National Park is home to 110 tigers, but none of them have died in the flooding.

Animals killed in the park include 54 hog deer, seven rhinos, six wild boars and one elephant.

Monsoon floods have devastated the eastern states of Bihar and Assam, killing more than 100 people and displacing millions.

The monsoon season, which lasts from June to September, has also wreaked havoc in Nepal and Bangladesh.

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