Further relocations only after translocated tigers settle down in new habitat: NTCA

BHOPAL: National parks and tiger reserves in Madhya Pradesh, which had been shut amid the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, will be kept open from June 1 to June 30, state forest minister Vijay Shah said on Saturday.

National parks and tiger reserves have remained shut since the last two months as a precautionary measure during the pandemic.

“Madhya Pradesh is known as a tiger and leopard state. National parks and tiger reserves had been shut due to the coronavirus outbreak. We have decided to keep these parks and reserves open from June 1 to June 30,” Shah said in a video statement.

The move will help people involved in tourism activities in these national parks, the minister said, adding that visitors will have to follow COVID-19 guidelines during their trips.

Madhya Pradesh is home to several tiger reserves such as Kanha, Bandhavgarh, Pench, Satpura and Panna.

The central state had regained the top slot in the 2018 census with a population of 526 tigers.

The maximum number of big cats (3,421) were found in Madhya Pradesh, followed by Karnataka at 1,783 and Maharashtra 1,690.

Earlier on Friday, forest officials had revealed that 41 tiger cubs, from newborns to one year olds, had been spotted at Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve.