Kaziranga park opens for tourists
Assam's Kaziranga National Park, home to one-horned rhinos, elephants, Asiatic water buffaloes and swamp deer, opened for visitors for six months Thursday.
Park authorities have opened all four forest ranges. However, tourists will not be able to visit the whole park for a few days as some low-lying areas are still under water.
"Some low-lying areas are flooded," Divisional Forest Officer Dibyajyoti Gogoi told IANS.
The park remains closed for tourists from May to October. Lakhs of foreign and domestic tourists throng the park between November and April.
Located about 240 km from Assam's main city Guwahati, the famed park has the highest density of tigers in India. It is also a haunt of many species of birds.
Gogoi said about 1.25 lakh tourists visited the park last year. This number included about 7,000 foreigners.
"Like every year we have started jeep and elephant safaris in the park," he said.
Recent floods ravaged the park and left over 600 animals dead.
Poachers took advantage of the situation, killing rhinos that strayed out of the park.