Now, plan for ‘easier’ tiger spotting at Corbett
Uttarakhand chief minister TS Rawat has approved the proposal of establishing the safari in the Savalde Eco Tourism Zone of Dhela range that falls in the buffer of the reserveUpdated: Jun 19, 2018 08:05 IST
Do not be disappointed if you have had no luck with spotting a Royal Bengal Tiger in the wilderness of Corbett Tiger Reserve.
If things go according to plan, tourists could enjoy tiger safari in the reserve by next year.
Uttarakhand chief minister TS Rawat has approved the proposal of establishing the safari in the Savalde Eco Tourism Zone of Dhela range that falls in the buffer of the reserve.
The plan is to create a semi-natural area with a chain-link fence in the forest to house 20 to 25 tigers.
Tourists, who struggle to spot a tiger in other ranges of the reserve, could easily see the big cats here.
The purpose is to divert tourism from the famous Dhikala zone and other adjoining areas of Bijrani, Jhirna and Sona Nadi to the Dhela range.
The Central Zoo Authority (CZA) and the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) have already given in- principle approval to the project. India does not have a tiger safari yet, despite having the world’s highest tiger population at 2,226.
Corbett is visited by nearly 3 lakh tourists in its tourism period that lasts for seven months, November 15 till June 15, generating a revenue of over Rs 8 crore. It has 240 tigers, according to the All India Tiger Estimation of 2015.
Conservationists have a different take on the Corbett tiger safari proposal .
K Ullas Karanth, noted wildlife biologist with the Wildlife Conservation Society, does not support the safari culture in the country.
“I am totally against such tiger safaris around national parks or tiger reserves. If people want to see tigers, they can go to well-run zoos in urban centres. Those coming to remote reserves should see wild nature, not captive cats.” Karanth said.
“Do we have a roadmap dealing with the consequences like tourist pressure? How will this safari impact the country’s flagship species — tiger?” asked Prateek Panwar, a member of the state wildlife board.
First Published: Jun 19, 2018 08:04 IST