Lockdown comes as boon to wildlife in Nepal « Khabarhub
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Lockdown comes as boon to wildlife in Nepal

02 May 2020  

Time taken to read : 4 Minute

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KATHMANDU: The lockdown enforced to contain the coronavirus pandemic has been a boon to nature and wildlife at Chitwan National Park.

The park has turned lush and green and the wildlife inside seems to be enjoying the environs without fear with no human activities taking place in the park for the last about one and a half months.

In a normal situation, as many as 1,000 visitors used to take a tour around the national park on a daily basis. Locals from Madi and nearby areas used the route through the park to travel to Chitwan and other paces of the district.

Movement of people and human activity has drastically reduced, almost to naught, with the enforcement of the stay-at-home order in view of the CPVID-19 pandemic. No other people except those related to the park security patrol have been allowed to enter the parking area at present.

CNP chief conservation officer Narayan Rupakheti said up to 600 spotted deer and as many as 14 rhinos in a pond can be spotted inside the park these days.

He said they saw 32 rhinos while traveling 17 kilometers from Sauraha to Kasara and the park staff had counted 600 spotted deer at Bhimlephant. Rupakheti himself saw 14 rhinos at a single spot at Kavretal five days back and 32 rhinos with four calves while traveling from Sauraha to Kasara. This is the route used for jeep safari.

“Forty two blue bulls have also been spotted at a grassland, The wild animals are freely roaming inside the park after halt in human activities,” he said.

The park has been closed since March 24 with the announcement of the lockdown by the government.

Rupakheti said the rainfall that has been taking place regularly during this period has also helped to reduce forest fires and growth of foliage and grass.

CNP assistant conservation officer Prakash Upreti said 72 jeeps used to enter the park daily before this. These jeeps used to take around 1,000 visitors on a safari tour.

Permits for operating safari tours have been issued to 32 jeeps in Sauraha, to 25 jeeps at Kasara, to five jeeps at Amaltari, to nine jeeps at Meghauli and one jeep from Madi. One jeep carries 10 tourists and a single jeep used to do two to three trips a day.

According to him, the movement of locals through the park to and from Madi and Thori has also greatly reduced.

Twenty-two thousand three hundred twenty-nine tourists visited the park in the month of Chait last year. This number had reached 22 thousand 687 in the month of Baisakh last year.

But the number of visitors in the month of Baisakh this year is nil while 3,906 people had visited the park in 10 days in the month of Chait this year before the lockdown was announced.

Publish Date : 02 May 2020 12:16 PM

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