Sri Lanka reopens wild life parks to tourists

sinharaja_rf_birdsSri Lanka wildlife authorities today reopened two famous wildlife parks in the Southeast that have been closed for four years due to the threat of terrorism.

Ananda Wijesooriya, director of the Wildlife Conservation Department said the two sanctuary sites, Kumana National Park and Lahugala National Park, both wildlife nature reserve are now open to the public.

Kumana National Park, a renowned bird sanctuary contiguous with the Yala National Park is located 391 km southeast of the capital Colombo. Lahugala National Park, a habitat famous for wild elephants is located at Heda Oya, in the Eastern Province, 318 km east of Colombo.

The two sanctuaries have been closed since 2005 due to the presence of the Tamil Tiger terrorists in those areas.

The Wildlife Department has decided to open the parks after they received security clearance after the end of the war, Wijesooriya said.

The Sri Lankan government eliminated the Tamil Tiger terrorist organization in May last year and since the end of the war the government has taken measures to promote tourism to the country. The two parks are a main eco-tourism and wildlife attraction.

The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources together with the Department of Wildlife Conservation and the Department of Irrigation have restored the parks, and this means that after the 5 years of regeneration tourists as well as local visitors can expect to see lots more wildlife.

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