SAARC act boldens forest department
Anindo Dey, TNN 22 October 2009, 04:47am IST
JAIPUR: Emboldened by an international glare and the subsequent appreciation that it managed to generate during the visit of SAARC dignitaries the forest department plans to showcase the Sariska and Ranthambore tiger reserves to visitors coming to the state during the forthcoming Commonwealth games.
The Sariska tiger reserve that caught the headlines last year when three tigers were subsequently translocated from the Ranthambore national park played host to dignitaries from SAARC countries on Wednesday morning. The visit to the park was part of the itinerary of the two day programme of the SAARC dignitaries.
"This morning SAARC dignitaries managed to spot the T1 male tiger in the forest. The tiger was spotted when they were travelling through an area called Brahmanath. Having seen a tiger in the wild many of the ministers from the SAARC countries were thrilled," revealed officials who were at the spot.
In fact such was the response of the dignitaries, including four ministers of some of the SAARC countries, that the forest department is seriously contemplating showcasing the two tiger reserves.
"With the visit of the SAARC dignitaries a beginning has been made. It would only be in the interest of the tiger conservation and the forest if we manage to pull through a chunk of visitors to these two tiger reserves specially Sariska," a senior official of the state forest department said.
In fact the mascot Shera, of the XIX Commonwealth Games 2010 Delhi has all the more boosted the hopes of the forest department of getting a chance to show case the two reserves.
"Such was the thrill amongst visitors that the representative from Nepal made an instant commitment to take a delegation to the government there so in a bid to plug all routes that are used for ferrying tiger products. Nepal is a transit point for poachers for trading in tiger body parts from India," the official revealed.
On its part Afghanistan plans to send a representative once again to Sariska to learn in details on the nitty-gritties of tiger translocation.
The Ranthambore national park too has been thrilling its visitors after it reopened. Forest officials said that on Tuesday visitors spotted tigers in eight places inside the park. "Such a high number of spotting speaks volumes for the tiger populace at the park. And it is high time that we presented to the park on an official platform to the world outside," the official added.