Kaziranga National Park resumes elephant safaris to attract tourists

Guwahati, Nov 1 (PTI) Elephant safaris in Kaziranga National Park in Assam resumed on Monday, six months after the World Heritage Site was shut down due to the raging second wave of COVID-19, an official said.

Elephant trainers, who are known locally as ‘mahouts’, performed puja before the resumption of the safaris in Kohora and Bagori ranges only, Kaziranga National Park Director P Shivakumar told reporters.

The authorities of the sanctuary, which is famous for the endangered one-horned rhinos and is also home to a significant population of tigers, bison, swamp deer and leopards, had reopened the two forest ranges for tourists on October 1, and only jeep safaris were initially allowed.

Subsequently, Burhapahar and Agoratoli forest ranges also reopened last month.

Altogether 18,404 tourists, including 18 foreigners, visited the park in October, Shivakumar said.

The reserve forest, which usually remains closed for tourists during the monsoon months, was shut down in the first week of May due to the second wave of the coronavirus infection.