Sri Lanka shuts national park due to drought

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Colombo, Sep 1 (IANS) Sri Lankan authorities on Friday shut down one of the largest national parks in the island nation for two months due to a worsening drought.

Wildlife Conservation Department spokesperson Hasini Sarathchandra said the Yala National Park, a huge tourist attraction, would be closed from Friday, reports Xinhua news agency.

“The park will reopen on October 31, provided there are rains in this period,” she said.

Situated in Sri Lanka’s southeast, 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 revenue source.

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