Tiger safari in Ranthambore
Wed, Aug 13 12:50 AM
Tourists visiting Rajasthan's Ranthambore Tiger Reserve will not be allowed to enter the sanctuary anymore. Instead, they would be able to see the big cats in a safari to be developed near the reserve.
In the first such move in the country, the Rajasthan government has asked the environment ministry to allow development of a tiger safari near the reserve in a bid to protect the tiger population better. Tiger experts from the Wildlife Institute of India had told the state forest department that free movement of tourists within the 127 sq km sanctuary was adversely impacting habitat of tigers in the reserve.
The solution - build a huge safari over 70-80 hectares, where tourists would be assured tiger sightings in the wild. "The tigers would be kept in enclosures big enough for their free movement," a forest official said.
The proposal, already discussed by the standing committee of the National Board for Wildlife, has been forwarded to the National Tiger Conservation Authority for its comments. "Once.
(their) comments are received final approval would be given," a ministry official said. The safari is set to be developed at Sawai Mansingh Wildlife Sanctuary, about 16km from Ranthambore.
The reserve's tigers would be left to roam freely in huge enclosures, making it easier for tourists to sight them. There will be three entry points - two for visitors and the third exclusively for forest department officials.
Visitors will ride in jeeps or other authorised vehicles, an official said. The tiger population in Ranthambore has increased to 32 from 26 in 2005, as per the recent census.
There also a dozen cubs. "A few older tigers from the population would be relocated to the sanctuary," an official said.