After remaining out of bounds for tourists for a few days, the Bhitarkanika National Park has reopened from today for the rest of the picnic season. With the festival of Makar Sankranti and other festivals coming ahead, tourist flow to the National Park is expected to see a rise.
The National Park had been closed from January 4 to January 13 for the annual bird and crocodile census exercise. The nine-day prohibition was imposed on tourists and locals to stop them from entering the forest area to avoid any untoward incident during the census.
Meanwhile, the count of crocodiles in Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary has increased by 18. Last year, at least 1793 crocodiles were found in Bhitarkanika while the number has gone up to 1811 this year. This is certainly good news for wildlife lovers and activists in the state.
As the National Park was opened for tourists, the forest department has also imposed a strict ban on the entry of plastic disposables in protected areas. Tourists have been advised not to carry polythene and litter plastic bottles and other items in the forest.