As temperatures in the Indian sub-continent rise, animals too have found ways to cool off in the summer. The lockdown in Kaziranga National Park has been ideal for the rich fauna of the world heritage park, especially the tigers. Photos captured by local tourist guide Biswajit Chetry, in the Kohora range of the park, tigers could be seen cooling off. Photos show a Royal Bengal tiger couple in a playful mood cooling themselves in a water body of the park.
Kaziranga National Park was declared a Tiger Reserve in 2007 and currently has the highest density of tigers in the world (1 per 5kms), with a population of 118, according to the latest census. In 2014, the number of tigers was only 83. The tiger census of 2018 showed the total number of tigers in the entire north eastern region of India as 219, which included 190 tigers in Assam, followed by 29 in Arunachal Pradesh. Kaziranga landscape has been successful in maintaining the pace of increase in its tiger population. The thriving tiger population of the park points to the fact that there is a healthy prey base for the big cats. In fact, there is a possibility that there are more tigers than the estimates.
Kaziranga is unique with a wide variety of habitats, which include the dynamic floodplains of river Brahmaputra on the northern boundary & River Diphlu, grasslands as well as hilly forests of Karbi Anglong district on the south.
The NTCA has identified 32 landscape-level tiger corridors in India, out of which 4 corridors are directly linked with Kaziranga National Park. Out of the 4 corridors linking Kaziranga, the Kaziranga-Karbi Anglong corridor is one of the most important and critical links not only for maintaining the ecosystem of Kaziranga but for providing refuge to the huge population of wildlife fauna during yearly floods.
The national park closes its gates for domestic and international tourists from the first week of May. The park witnessed a record inflow of domestic tourists in the 2020-21 season.