Mudumalai National Park closed for census
The extensive sanctuary including the wildlife corridors and the National park, a popular tourist draw, covers a huge area of 429 Sq km, according to the Tamil Nadu Forest Department.
It is a part of the Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve and has also been declared as a ‘Tiger Reserve’.
The Mudumalai Wildlife Park, situated 67 km from Ooty, is expected to reopen on November 29 after the animal census is completed, official sources said over telephone this evening.
But they were tight-lipped on the details. The closure would also apply to the ‘Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR)’ area which tourists will not be able to visit till the reopening of the National park.
The MTR had been open to tourists again on last Tuesday(Nov 20), after the Supreme Court in a recent directive lifted the ban on tourism with certain conditions that included that tourism activities should not affect tiger conservation efforts there. The ban had been in force for over four months.
Even as tourists inflow began to pick up in the last couple of days with elephant rides and van safaris resuming at MTR, the Forest Authorities have now announced the closure of the entire wildlife area for tourists and visitors to facilitate the animal census in the National park area.
“If it is for census counting, they normally close the wildlife park,” a top District official told Deccan Herald over the phone. Due to the continuing foggy conditions in the hill-station district, the road visibility has also been poor and the vehicular traffic has considerably slowed down.