Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, has written to the Kaziranga National Park (KNP) Director, P. Sivakumar, about the damage caused to the national park during the 2020 Assam floods.
Flood in different parts of Assam inundated large swathes of land in Kaziranga National Park, a World Heritage site, killing at least 51 wild animals though 102 animals have been rescued, officials said. Assam has been ravaged by floods for the past few weeks, displacing millions of people, while dozens have died in the rain-related incidents.
In a letter to the director, Prince William spoke fondly of his and the Duchess of Cambridge, Catherine's visit to the Kaziranga National Park in April 2016 and offered their condolences.
"We have the happiest memories of our visit to Kaziranga in April 2016 and are shocked by what has happened. The deaths of so many animals, including one-horned rhino, is deeply upsetting. We know from our visit how dedicated all the staff in Kaziranga are in caring for the Park's wildlife, and can only begin to imagine what a difficult time this must be," the letter read.
Parimal Suklabaidya, Minister of Fishery, Excise, Environment & Forest in the Government of Assam, took to Twitter to share the letter. Thanking the Royals, he tweeted, "Your admiring words towards the ever dedicated staff of Kaziranga National Park will empower them with more encouragement for safeguarding the park."
My sincere gratitude towards His Royal Highness Prince William & @KensingtonRoyal for their deep concerns on the flood situation of @kaziranga_. Your admiring words towards the ever dedicated staff of @kaziranga_ will empower them with more encouragement for safeguarding the park pic.twitter.com/e3Mq2Z0Ldc— Parimal Suklabaidya (@ParimalSuklaba1) July 24, 2020
Prince William went on to say in the letter that both he and Catherine appreciated the park official's efforts to rescue the animals and that such a catastrophe atop the Covid-19 pandemic is "deeply distressing." He ended the letter by saying that the park remains in the Duke and Duchess' thoughts.
In 2016, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge made their way to Assam during their week-long India trip for a two-day visit starting April 12. The two had visited the national park in hopes of raising awareness about the endangered species there and to draw attention to their plight.