Friday, November 04, 2011

Gujarat govt to introduce new lion safari

Gujarat govt to introduce new lion safari

In order to ease tourist pressure triggered by the Amitabh Bachchan ad campaign on the Sasan sanctuary, Gujarat forest authorities plan to start a second lion safari near Tulsishyam in Amreli district, according to a Times of India report by Himanshu Kaushik.

Forest officials believe too much of tourist pressure can have an adverse impact on wildlife. "During Diwali,about 30,000 people thronged the jungle to get a glimpse of the lion .Between October 25-31, 2011; an average of 3,000 tourists visited Sasan every day and about 5,000 went to Devaliya zone, a cordoned area which has a sizeable number of lions. However,only about 1,200 tourists could take the safari at Sasan every day. This safari starts from two spots at Bhambhabore and Kankai Naka. We have decided to have a second safari on the lines of Sasan. This will be near Tulsishyam," said SK Nanda, Principal Secretary, Forest, Govt of Gujarat. "The new safari,proposed from Tulsishyam check post to Rawaldam,covers about 30 km. This site is the perfect location for lion-spotting," he added.

"The Forest Department is also readying another cordoned area at Ambardi on the lines of Devaliya. Together,the two initiatives will ease pressure on Sasan," Nanda stated.

Tourism Department officials believe a new safari will bring the lion closer to cities like Ahmedabad and Vadodara. Tourists will not have to go all the way to Gir. "Also,people heading towards Diu will get an opportunity to go for lion safari in Amreli," said an official.

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