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5 forest ranges of Kaziranga National Park reopen for tourists


Nagaon/Kaziranga, Oct 28: Five forest ranges of the Kaziranga National Park (KNP) opened for tourists after the World Heritage Site was closed due to the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent monsoon season in Assam.

Park authorities said Kohora, Bagori, Burhapahar, Dhania, and Laokhoa ranges scattered in Nagaon, Golaghat, Sonitpur, and Karbi Anglong districts reopened on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively.

Talking to reporters on Wednesday, KNP Director P Shivakumar expressed hope that after a long period of restrictions due to the pandemic across the world, people will now be able to relax by visiting the National Park, famous for one-horned rhinos.

However, he appealed to tourists to visit the National Park only if they are fully vaccinated and adhere to COVID-19 protocol like wearing masks, using hand sanitisers, during their trip.

For now, jeep and elephant safaris would be available in Kohora and Burhapahar forest ranges, Shivakumar said.

Since October 1 when a part of the KNP had reopened, "more than 15,000 tourists visited the Park and Rs 15 lakh has so far been collected as revenue," he said.

Agaratoli forest area of the KNP will also be opened during this week given the rise in the number of tourists, Shivakumar said.

According to Burhapahar forest range officer Pradip Goswami, jeep and elephant safaris will be available for tourists in Bandardubi forest areas, besides trekking facilities in Kukurakata and Chirang Hills under Burhapahar forest range.

Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Nagaon Wildlife Division Pallab Kumar Deka said boating facility will be provided to tourists in Bhumuraguri forest area in Sonitpur district, Burhachapori Wildlife Sanctuary in Nagaon district, besides jeep safari in Katakhal forest area under Laokhoa forest range.

In a separate incident, an elephant calf was rescued by forest department personnel at Miripathar, under Bokial Beat, in Golaghat district on Thursday and shifted to a rehabilitation centre in Kaziranga.

The two-and-a-half-month-old elephant calf was rescued by forest personnel after locals informed the authorities.

The baby elephant was wandering in the area after its mother was electrocuted at Dholagaon Pathar on Sunday, a spokesperson of the forest department said.

"As it was weak, it was shifted to the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC) at Panbari in Kaziranga for treatment and rehabilitation," said Divisional Forest Officer, Golaghat, S K Thakuria.

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