Kaziranga National Park, famous for the one-horned rhinos, will be open for tourists from October 21 onwards. Park officials said that the tourists will have to follow the COVID-19 protocols strictly.

“We are looking forward to opening the park for the tourists from October 21 after the difficult times – flood and COVID-19 pandemic. Out of the four ranges of the national park, only two will be open for the tourists,” said a park official.

Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal will formally inaugurate the park on October 21 in the presence of the officials and tourists.

The 430 sq km haven for one-horned rhinos, tigers and other wild animals is one of the major tourist destinations of the country. It attracts lakhs of tourists from India and abroad every year.

Kaziranga National Park was set up as a reserve forest in 1908. In 1968, the Assam government passed the Assam National Park Act of 1968, declaring Kaziranga a designated national park.

In the year 1985, the park was declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

The Kaziranga National Park has recorded one of the highest densities of tiger in the country and has been declared a Tiger Reserve since 2007.

Kaziranga has been one of India’s major conservation success stories with rhino population increasing from just 75 in the first decade of the 20th century to an estimated 2,413 in 2018. The latest tiger census in 2018 also found 110 big cats in the park. Tigers, rhino and elephants are considered keystone species and an increase in their numbers indicate a healthy natural habitat with proper prey and predator balance.

During the floods, hundreds of animals including rhinos, tigers and deer died when more than 90 percent of the park was inundated by water.

Earlier this month, Manas National Park, another major tourist destination of the region was opened for the visitors.

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