Sri Lanka temporarily shuts national park due to worsening drought

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-01 13:52:34|Editor: liuxin
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COLOMBO, Sept. 1 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka's wildlife authorities on Friday shut down one of the largest national parks in the island country for two months due to a worsening drought.

Wildlife Conservation Department spokesperson Hasini Sarathchandra told local reporters that the Yala National Park, which is a large tourist attraction, will be closed from Friday for a period of two months.

"The park will re-open again on Oct. 31, provided rains being experienced during this time," Sarathchandra said.

"However, it should be noted that last year too the park re-opening following the dry season had to be extended as the drought had continued to affect the availability of water for the animals to survive," she added.

Situated in Sri Lanka's southeast hugging the panoramic Indian Ocean, Yala was designated a wildlife sanctuary in 1900 and became a national park in 1938.

It is Sri Lanka's second largest national park and home to some of the world's biggest concentration of leopards, elephants, sloth bears, sambars, jackals, spotted dears, peacocks and crocodiles.

The park attracts more than 100,000 foreign tourists each year and is a key source of revenue to the government.