The Gir National Park, which is home to over 520 Asiatic lions, will remain shut for tourists, both domestic and foreigners, from June 16 to October 15, an official said Saturday.

The park is closed during this period every year as it is the breeding season for many animals, including the big cats, said Rajiv Gupta, Additional Chief Secretary of Environment and Forest Department of Gujarat government.

“Four months of monsoon are considered the best season for the breeding,” he said.

The Gir sanctuary, located at Sasan in Junagadh district, is the only home for the Asiatic lions and attracts a large number of tourists from India and abroad.

“During the monsoon, the condition of roads inside the forest area also deteriorates and it becomes unsafe for visitors to travel on such roads,” he said.

Besides, the forest department also undertakes maintenance work of the national park in September as peak tourist season starts from November and continues till March end, the official said.