Seven months after it was closed to visitors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the iconic Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve re-opened for tourists on Wednesday.
Home to rare one-horned rhino and tigers, besides other wildlife, the National Park was formally re-opened by Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.
The Park has been opened for visitors under strict Covid protocols. The State Government has prepared standard operating procedures for visitors to the park in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Wearing of masks, using hand sanitizers and maintaining social distancing is a must for all visitors.
Speaking to Northeast Live, Director of Kaziranga National Park – P Shivkumar informed about the several precautionary measures, which have been initiated to keep COVID-19 at check. All tourists and guides would be subjected to thermal screening and health checks.
On the other hand, locals in and around Kaziranga National Park have welcomed the move of the State Government to re-open the park for visitors.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has said that several steps have been taken to curb the menace of poaching in the Kaziranga National Park.
Sonowal specifically thanked the role of media in spreading awareness about poaching and also thanked the general public in anti-poaching activities. He informed that fast-track courts have been set up to convict the people accused of poaching.
During the initial days of the reopening, there won’t be any Elephant safaris for visitors. However, the government has said that there are chances of the safari resuming from November. Only a limited number of jeep safaris will be allowed at a time. Due to the inclement weather and road conditions inside the national park, jeep safaris are allowed only at Kohora, Western and Bagori ranges of the Park.
Kaziranga National Park is home to at least 2,400 rare one-horned rhinoceros and 121 tigers and other wildlife.