Kaziranga engages private elephant owners to meet tourist demand

February 13th, 2009 - 6:42 pm ICT by ANI  

By Apem Kamadoang
Kaziranga (Assam), Feb 13 (ANI): Due to the increasing inflow of tourists at the Kaziranga National Park located in Assam, the state forest department has engaged private elephant owners for elephant safaris in the park.
Because of increasing tourist arrivals, the park authorities are engaging private elephant owners to cater to the tourist rush.
“At present, we are having around 52 departmental elephants at the Kaziranga National Park and about 19 elephants from private sector who are participating for the visitors. Over the years, there has been a constant demand of private tourists (private elephant owners) at Kaziranga. That is the reason, why we have to encourage private parties to come and join,” said Asif Ahmed, forest veterinary officer, Kaziranga National Park.
The wildlife viewing is an interesting activity in Kaziranga National Park. The number of tourists has been constantly increasing who come to the park to see the elephant herds and the wild rhinos. Their ever-growing numbers have opened new job avenues for the locals.
“If we look at the number of tourist inflow at Kaziranga, in 2001 foreign tourists accounted for 7000, which in 2007 rose up to 13,000. As for domestic tourists, we have now around 3.4 million tourists as compared to one million in previous years. All these have generated a lot of revenue for us and Kaziranga is the pride of Assam,” said Rokibul Hussain, Forest Minister.
Besides one-horned Rhinos, the other major wild attractions include a significant presence of Indian elephants, tigers, Indian bison, swamp deer, leopard cats, capped langurs, wild boars and buffalos, pythons and a wide variety of other wild animals and birds.
Spread over 175 sq. kms, Kaziranga National Park is a remarkable success story of conservation of the One Horned Indian Rhinoceros and other wild lives in the North East India that has earned it a place in the World Heritage Site List 1985. (ANI)

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