Bhitarkanika National Park re-opened for Tourists
Bhitarkanika National Park, which was shut over two months ago during nesting season of deadly crocodiles, has been reopened for tourists from Thursday. The sanctuary with varieties of reptiles and birds has always been a major attraction for wildlife lovers.
On the first day, it registered 30 tourists. The number is expected to increase in the coming days particularly during winter. The park provides accommodation facilities for 60 visitors at night. This year, the night stay charge has been hiked more than three times.
The authorities had closed the park for the visitors from May 15 as the crocodiles become violent during their nesting season. They mate between February and April and their nesting takes place in May. The hatchlings come out of the eggs after 70-80 days.
Located in Kendrapara district, about 170 km from the state capital Bhubaneswar, the national park is home to endangered Saltwater Crocodile, White Crocodile, Indian python, King Cobra, black ibis, darters and many other species of flora and fuana. It houses about 1,600 saltwater crocodiles, Mangroves, trees like sundari, thespia, casuarinas, and grasses like the indigo bush, and 10,000 local birds, other birds such as Asian Open Bill, Cormorants, Darters, Black Ibis, and Egrets.
The national park was created in September 1998 from the core area of the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary, which was created in 1975. The sanctuary is the second largest mangrove ecosystem in India.