Kaziranga National Park Suspends Elephant Safari Indefinitely in Face of Disputed Directive

News Reporter News Reporter
Wednesday, December 27, 2023
Kaziranga National Park Suspends Elephant Safari Indefinitely in Face of Disputed Directive
Iconic Wildlife Experience Temporarily Halted as Authorities Protest Impractical Reservation Mandate
In an unexpected development, the renowned Kaziranga National Park in Assam has taken the unprecedented step of indefinitely suspending its popular elephant safari, effective as of December 24. This decision comes in response to a recent directive from the Assam Forest Department, requiring the reservation of one seat on each elephant exclusively for forest department officials.

The national park authorities have expressed strong disagreement with this directive, deeming it impractical. In a bid to seek resolution, they have opted to temporarily close the iconic elephant safari experience, challenging the mandate's feasibility.

Directive Sparks Discontent:
The Assam Forest Department's directive, aimed at ensuring a designated seat for forest officials during elephant safaris, has sparked discontent among Kaziranga National Park authorities. They argue that the implementation of such a reservation is logistically unfeasible and, in response, have chosen to halt the elephant safari until a mutually agreeable solution is found.

Logistical Challenges Highlighted:
The directive stresses the importance of a separate seat on the back of elephants for security reasons, a point contested by the national park authorities. They emphasize the impracticality of this requirement, asserting that it will disrupt normal safari operations and compromise the experience for both tourists and the involved animals.

Encounter with Divisional Forest Officer (DFO):
Adding complexity to the situation, the national park authorities reported an unsettling encounter with the Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) during discussions about the reserved seat issue.

Impact on Tourists:
The sudden discontinuation of the elephant safari is deemed 'unfortunate' for tourists who had planned visits to Kaziranga National Park. With this widely sought-after attraction temporarily unavailable, visitors will miss the unique opportunity to explore the park atop elephants, an experience synonymous with the rich biodiversity and cultural significance of Kaziranga.

Symbolic Protest and Call for Dialogue:
The suspension of the elephant safari serves as a symbolic protest against the impractical reservation directive. National park authorities urge constructive dialogue to find a mutually agreeable solution addressing concerns raised by both parties. Until a resolution is reached, the fate of one of India's most celebrated wildlife experiences remains uncertain, prompting stakeholders and enthusiasts to await any positive outcome.