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* Sri Lanka's Yala National Park to be closed for visitors for a month due to drought
Sun, Jul 27, 2014, 12:01 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

July 26, Colombo: Sri Lanka's best known nature reserve, Yala National Park will be closed for the visitors during the month of September as the dry season is approaching, the Wildlife Department said has said.

Accordingly, the park will be closed from 2nd of September until the 30th of September.

The park is normally closed for tourists during the dry season from September 1 to October 15 due to the severe drought prevailing during that time of the year.

During the closure the park officials will renovate the visitors' bungalows and make improvements to access roads.

The water reservoirs that will be dried due to the drought will be de-silted during the month. The park will set up temporary ponds with water brought-in by bowsers for the animals.

Steps have also been taken to construct electric fences to prevent the animals leaving the sanctuary areas, officials of the Wildlife Department said. Further closure of the park is possible if the drought situation persists, they said.

The government says the Yala and Horton Plains National Park in Nuwara Eliya bring the highest revenue to the Wildlife Department. However, Yala due to its vast extent needs a substantial amount of maintenance work.

According to the government, there are 62 sanctuaries, 22 wild life parks, three high conservation parks, and five natural conservation parks in the island.

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