The Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR) will begin welcoming tourists from Wednesday. The opening was delayed by 10 days as the wildlife officials were busy repairing the damages to the sanctuary in the recent cyclone. The STR authorities are hopeful of receiving more than 30, 000 tourists this year. Last year, 25, 945 tourists visited the tiger reserve.
The elephant ride is an added attraction this year.Wildlife officials expect to draw more tourists with this initiative. “Kunki elephants Mahindra, Shabha and Raj Kumar will take tourists on joy rides,” an official said. The official website has also been re-designed to facilitate easy online booking of guesthouses. “Tourists can now easily download entry forms. About 8,000 tourists have so far availed the facility,” said the official.
The STR was opened to tourists, two years after the Maoist attack, in November 2011. “Tourist vehicles were initially allowed through Jashipur entry gate. The Jamuani tourist complex was also opened. This year, we will have two entry points for the tourists,” said regional chief conservator of forest Anup Nayak.
Read the full report here, Times of India