Amidst an unfortunate turn of events, the renowned Kaziranga National Park in Assam has announced the indefinite closure of its popular elephant safari, starting from December 24. This decision comes in protest against a recent directive from the Assam forest department mandating the reservation of one seat on each elephant for forest department officials.
Background of the Decision
The Assam Forest Department’s directive aimed at securing a designated seat for forest officials during elephant safaris has sparked discontent among the national park authorities. They argue that such a reservation is impractical and, in response, have chosen to suspend the elephant safari until a resolution is reached.
Forest Department’s Directive
The directive, issued by the Assam Forest Department, emphasizes the need for a separate seat on the elephant back for security reasons. The national park authorities assert the impossibility of implementing this directive and express their disagreement with such a mandate.
Unsettling Encounter with DFO
Adding to the tensions, the national park authorities reported an unsettling encounter with the Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) when discussing the reserved seat issue. They claim mistreatment during the meeting, further complicating the matter.
This abrupt closure of the elephant safari is deemed “unfortunate” for the tourists visiting the national park. With this popular attraction temporarily unavailable, visitors will miss out on the unique experience of exploring Kaziranga National Park atop elephants.
Seeking a Resolution
The closure of the elephant safari stands as a symbolic protest against the impractical reservation directive. The national park authorities insist on a constructive dialogue and a mutually agreeable solution to address the concerns raised by both parties.