In an effort to promote tourism in Malwa region, Bathinda’s Bir Talab zoo, situated on the outskirts of the city, is set to get leopards.
Three leopards will be brought from Chatbir zoo in Zirakpur in last week of March, for which the forest department has been given a green signal from the Central Zoo Authority (CZA).
In this regard, the forest authorities have also built an open enclosure, first of its kind in Punjab, in 1,200 square feet of area. Revamped in 2010 with an amount of Rs 10 crore, the Bathinda zoo, which now has a dedicated Deer Safari, has more than 200 deer of different species, besides having enclosures for simian and birds species.
Speaking to HT, divisional forest officer Sanjeev Tiwari said the construction of Punjab’s first open enclosure, having adequate security measures for both animal and visitors, was given to Public Works Department (PWD).
“All the formalities related to transportation of leopards have been completed on both state and centre levels and the big cats will be added into the zoo family by March end,” Tiwari said. He added that the government had given funds worth Rs 1 crore for setting up of the leopard enclosure, which has a six-feet high boundary wall.
Tiger safari project in pipeline
Four year after being announced by deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, the tiger safari project has finally gone in pipeline.
The forest authorities then made a detailed project report related to the project worth Rs 5 crore and sent the same to central zoo authority of India. The authorities even created a special space of about 50 acres for tiger safari in the zoo premises.
Tiwari said the tiger safari has not been stalled as they are concentrating first on successfully introducing leopards.
“The matter of tiger safari project will be discussed with state government and central zoo authorities again to clear problems, if any in near future,” he added.