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The Wildlife Conservation Department (WCD) yesterday said that the Yale National Park would remain closed for visitors until Oct. 15 due to the severe water scarcity resulting from the drought affecting the wild animals.

WCD Director General H. D. Ratnayake said that the park would reopen on Oct. 16.

The Yale National Park, which was closed on Sept. 1 was to be reopened on Oct. 1.

He noted that the department officers with the support of Irrigation Department, Water Board, NGOs and private sector were engaged in refilling the water holes in the park to ensure there was sufficient water for the wild animals.

According to DG, around 10,000-15,000 local and foreign tourists had visited the park daily before its closure.

Ratnayake said that in 2013, Yala had generated an income of Rs. 915 million.

Yala National Park is the most visited and second largest national park in Sri Lanka. It consists of five blocks, two of which are now open to the public, along with adjoining parks.

By Maheesha Mudugamuwa

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