Guwahati, October 22 (IANS): After around seven months, Assam's world-famous Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve was on Wednesday opened for visitors for this season.
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who ceremonially opened the park at a function held at Mihimukh (Kohora range), said that it is a matter of great pride and prestige that Kaziranga has earned its name in the 17 most iconic centres of the country.
Noting that his government has taken various steps for beautification, conservation and development of the park, he also called upon every stakeholder to make a united effort to maintain its serenity and beauty.
The Chief Minister also highlighted achievement of the state government in stopping rhino poaching to a great extend in last four-and-a-half years and thanked the people of the nearby areas for extending their full cooperation in eliminating poaching incidents.
He also urged all visitors to Kaziranga and other tourist places to maintain all Covid-19 protocols so that the spread of the pandemic can be contained.
Like previous years, the floods in Assam also badly hit wild animals in various sanctuaries and national parks including Kaziranga, where 18 rhinos and 135 other wild animals died due to the deluge.
Kaziranga National Park Director Karmashree P. Sivakumar said that 172 wild animals have been rescued from the flood waters, even though over 95 per cent of the 884 sq km park remained inundated until July 23.
"Last year, 263 animals, including many endangered rhinos, were killed in floods while 169 animals were rescued...all-out efforts are being made to take care of the animals in the entire Kaziranga National Park," Sivakumar told IANS over phone.
The animals that perished this year in the park also included 107 hog deer, 12 wild boars, six wild buffaloes, four porcupines and three swamp deer. The 172 rescued animals include three rhinos, 120 hog deer, 31 pythons and four cobras.