Elephant safaris have resumed at a famous national park in India’s northeastern state of Assam, seven months after being forced to shut by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Kaziranga National Park, a World Heritage Site, reopened on Oct. 21, part of a wider easing of lockdown restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the virus. From Nov. 1, 37 tourists at a time are allowed to move around the park on the elephants while adhering strictly to Covid-19 safety protocols.

Forest officials, along with elephant trainers who are known locally as ‘mahouts’, performed a small ceremony on Sunday before the resumption of the safaris.

A local priest, in a Hindu blessing, smeared vermillion on the forehead of the elephants as they prepared to receive their first riders after a long gap. 

The first batch of tourists then enjoyed a one-hour ride through the forest, which is best known for the endangered one-horned Indian rhinoceros and is also home to a significant population of tigers, bison, swamp deer and leopards.

India on Monday reported 46,441 new Covid-19 infections, federal health data showed, less than half of a peak hit in September.  

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)

Follow more stories on Facebook and Twitter

Source link


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here