New Zealand High Commissioner to India Joanna Kempkers is amazed at the beauty of the Manas National Park, which is a famous UNESCO Natural World Heritage site, a Project Tiger reserve, an elephant reserve and a biosphere reserve in Assam.
While on a three-day stay at the park she also met chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal and officials from the inland water transport department in Guwahati on Monday.
She also experienced her first elephant ride which she would not forget for a long time. She was with her husband and daughter as the elephant took them to different parts of the park as they spotted deer, buffaloes, rhinos and other wildlife.
She crossed over to Royal Manas National Park which is contiguous to Manas National Park and rafted down the river. The High Commissioner had come to Manas to inaugurate the display centre of Sir Edmund Hillary’s boat, named Air India, which was part of the 1977 India-New Zealand Ocean to Sky expedition.
She said one of the greatest conservation success stories of New Zealand has been the Kakapo breeding programme.
“There is no reason why one of Jamuna’s calves here at Manas cannot attain stardom as a mascot for wildlife conservation in India,” she said. Jamuna, a rhino, gave birth to her first calf, a female, in 2014 and then another in 2017.