Bengal Safari Park receives fillip from tourism department

Report by: 
Prashant Acharya
SILIGURI
4 Jan 2017

The state tourism department is all set to transform the Bengal Safari Park into a national heritage site to promote rural tourism and homestays in the forest villages of Baikunthapur and Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary.

Tourism minister Gautam Deb and industry stakeholders on Tuesday inspected the park where a project is underway to conserve forest cover and two newly arrived tigers are being acclimatised.

The two Royal Bengal tigers, Snehasish (male) and Shila (female), have been brought from the Alipore Zoo in Kolkata.

An enclosure spread over 28 acres has been set up at the park for the tigers. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is likely to open the enclosure for public viewing during her three-day visit to north Bengal from January 22.

The park also houses sambar deer, barking deer, spotted deer, a male rhino, wild boars, jungle fowl, wildcats, golden and silver pheasants besides the Royal Bengal tigers. The entire project will be completed within June 2017.

The villages of Toribari, Chamakdangi, Laltong and Shikarpur will soon see support for rural tourism and homestays from the state tourism department, announced Deb. Speaking to the media, he said the idea is to promote an alternative means of livelihood to the locals as also to conserve the heritage forests of Baikunthapur and Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary.