Guwahati, Nov 1 (IANS): Assam Minister Atuwa Munda today opened the Kaziranga National Park for tourists for the 2015-16 season and lauded officials' efforts to keep a tab on rhino poaching in and around the park.
At a function at the Mihimukh forest range of the park, the Environment and Forest Minister thanked forest officials and guards for coordinated efforts to conserve wildlife.
The park, declared a world heritage site by UNESCO, is home to some 2,400 one-horned rhinos. It is also known for its elephants, swamp deers, Asiatic wild buffaloes and tigers.
The other ranges of the park at Bagori, Agaratoli and Kahara were simultaneously opened for tourists.
"The domestic and foreign tourists have been waiting for the opening of the park. Many tourists have booked rooms in hotels and resorts near the park in advance," Kaziranga divisional forest officer SK Seal Sarma told IANS.
"There is a heavy rush today. Domestic and foreign tourists waited in queues to enter the park," he added.
Seal said that elephant safaris and jeep safaris too have been opened for tourists from Sunday.
Every year the park opens to visitors on November 1 till end of April. It is closed from May 1 due to the monsoon season and floods that frequently occur.