The Covid-19 pandemic has not impacted tourist footfall at Kaziranga National Park in Assam since it reopened on re-opened on October 21 last year, after a gap of more than seven months.
Around two lakh tourists, including 570 foreigners, have visited the world heritage site.
“Since the park-cum-tiger reserve was re-opened on October 21 last year, as many as 1, 98,595 tourists, including 570 foreign nationals, have visited KNP & TR in the six months,” said KNP director KP. Sivakumar.
He said that around 1.74 lakh tourists, including 11,595 foreigners, had visited the park during the corresponding period of 2019-20.
Thousands of more tourists are expected to visit Kaziranga before it is closed ahead of the monsoon, Sivakumar added.
The authorities of KNP & TR, extending across Assam’s five districts — Golaghat, Nagaon, Sonitpur, Biswanath and Karbi Anglong , earn Rs 5 crore on an average each season.
Like previous years, the floods in Assam badly hit the KNP & TR between June and September last year, with 18 rhinos and 135 other wild animals dying due to the deluge.
Sivakumar said that 172 wild animals were rescued from the flood waters last year.
In 2019, 263 animals, including many endangered rhinos, were killed in the floods while 169 animals were rescued.
Set up in 1908, the KNP & TR is one of India’s seven UNESCO world heritage sites in the natural and environment category since 1985. It is home to more than 2,400 Indian rhinoceros.
Besides rhinos, the KNP & TR has 121 tigers, 1,089 elephants and large numbers of Asiatic buffalo, swamp deer, wild boar, hog deer, porcupine and other endangered animals and reptiles.